Wine Word of the Week: Alcohol

By Kori ~ July 3rd, 2008.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is alcohol.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Alcohol is the common name for ethanol. Alcoholic strength, an important measurement of any wine, is its concentration of the intoxicant ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. It can be measured in several different ways, the most common being the degree…. The degree of alcohol is equivalent to its percentage by volume and is sometimes referred to as ‘abv’, alcohol by volume. In most countries it is mandatory to specify the alcoholic strength of all wines on the label….

Layman’s terms from Kori:
In a bottle of wine, less than 11% alcohol is considered low alcohol, 11% to 14%+ is moderate, and greater than or equal to 15% is high. When tasting, high alcohol will taste hot at the back of your mouth.

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