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Wines Ranked From Lightest to Strongest

Wines Ranked From Lightest to Strongest

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The alcohol percentage of most traditional wine types is between 10 and 14 percent. However, if you want a little additional kick in your glass of wine, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are wines in the 15-20 percent ABV range as well!

Wine Varieties & Their Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

1. Wines with Light Alcohol Levels

If you’re looking for a really light (low alcohol) wine, consider any of these selections:

Wine style Alcohol Content
Moscato d’Asti 5% – 6% ABV
Brachetto d’ Acqui 6% – 7% ABV
Riesling 7% – 8% ABV
Lambrusco 8% ABV
Muscadet 9% – 10% ABV

2. Wines with Medium to Low Alcohol Levels

These wines can provide a very faint buzz (medium to low alcohol), quite enough to get you in the mood:

Wine style Alcohol Content
Vinho Verde 10% – 11.5% ABV
Pinot Grigio (Italian) 10% – 11% ABV
Grϋner Veltliner 11% ABV
Txakoli 10% – 11.5% ABV
White Zinfandel 10% ABV

3. Wines with Medium Alcohol Levels

If you’re looking for a little boozy drink (medium alcohol), consider the following:

Wine style Alcohol Content
Barbera d’Asti 11.5% ABV
Sparkling wine style like Prosecco & Champagne 12% – 12.5% ABV
Chianti 12% – 12.5% ABV
Pinot Gris (American) 12.5% – 13.5% ABV
Rioja 12.5% – 13.5% ABV

4. Wines with Medium to High Alcohol Levels

These wines are excellent if you want wines with a medium to high alcohol concentration (but not the strongest):

Wine style Alcohol Content
Merlot 13% – 14% ABV
Cabernet Sauvignon 13.5% ABV
Sauvignon Blanc 13% – 14% ABV
Malbec (Argentina) 13.5% – 14.5% ABV
Pinot Noir 13.5% – 15% ABV

5. Wines with Medium to High Alcohol Levels

Wines with a high alcohol concentration (14.5% and above) include:

  • Zinfandel has an alcohol concentration that ranges between 14 and 15.5 percent ABV. This full-bodied, rich red wine has strong tannin content and spicy dark berry and black cherry flavours. Zinfandel is mostly made in the United States (most notably in California), Australia, and Italy.
  • Shiraz (the Australian term for Syrah wine) is a full-bodied red wine with a velvety tannic texture and an alcohol content of 14-15 percent. This dry wine offers sumptuous fruity scents and flavours of black cherry, dark fruit, and oak.
  • California, Chile, and Australia produce some of the most powerful Chardonnay wines (with 14-15 percent ABV). Chardonnay wines range from lean and crisp (unoaked) with citrus tastes to buttery and creamy with tropical fruit undertones (oaked.)
  • Muscat is prepared from highly sweet grapes and has a 15% alcohol concentration. The flavour of this sweet wine is rich and delicious, with notes of ripe peach, orange blossom, and tropical fruit.
  • Sherry is a fortified wine from Spain with an alcohol content of 15-20%. Sherry is created in a variety of forms, ranging from light to dark-colored white wine and even dessert wine. This wine, created from the Palomino grape, has a lovely flowery scent.
  • Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily with an alcohol concentration of roughly 20%. The wine includes aromas of dried fruit, honey, and licorice. It complements fruits, blue cheese, and pastries.
  • Madeira is another fortified wine from Portugal, having a 20% alcohol level. It is created from five distinct Portuguese grape varietals and has a delicious taste profile with hints of almonds, dried fruit, and caramel.
  • Port wine may end up containing amounts as strong as 20%, making it the strongest wine on the market. Some wines are believed to contain up to 21% alcohol by volume, depending on the bottle.

The alcohol concentration of wine varies based on the variety. Because of changes in the fermenting process, the wine has varying amounts of alcohol level. Due to modest irregularity, there may be a discrepancy of up to 1.5 percent from what is indicated on the label.

Port Wine: The World’s Strongest Wine

The post-dinner drink, whether you’ve just finished dinner at home, at a friend’s party, or at your favourite restaurant, a tiny sip afterward may be a delicious pleasure to round off the experience. When it pertains to palatable digestifs, Port wine reigns supreme.

Although Port is primarily recognised as a sweet wine, it has many more levels. Join us as we explore the complexities of this famous Portuguese libation, learning as to what it is, how it is prepared, how many types there are (well let’s say there are a lot), and how to best appreciate it.

Port is a sweet fortified wine created in Portugal from fragrant grape types such as Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Co, and Tinto Roriz (also known as Tempranillo). Fortified wine, unlike other varieties of wine, is prepared by adding a distilled spirit, often a grape spirit such as cognac or brandy.

True Port must originate from Portugal’s Douro Valley, much as real Champagne must come from a certain wine area in France. In truth, the term “Port” is derived from Porto, a seaside city on the Douro River. However, many Port wines may come from other places, so be sure the wine label says “Porto.”

Since it is fortified, Port has a greater alcohol level than a typical glass of wine — closer to 20% ABV (alcohol by volume) vs the norm in the United States of 12 percent alcohol. This high ABV is one of the reasons why Port is normally served in tiny portions.

Production

Port production, like all winemaking, begins with the harvesting of the grapes. The grapes are crushed in order to obtain the juice and start the fermentation process. If the winemaker reinforces the wine before the fermentation process is complete, the outcome is more residual sugar, which results in a sweet wine. If the winemaker adds the alcohol after the fermentation process has finished, the outcome is a dry vermouth with less sugar.

Young Port wines are frequently stored in big oak barrels for around 18 months. Having said that, some Port makers skip the oak barrels and instead let the wine mature in the bottle. Depending on how the wine is made, you might get a sweet and rich Port wine or a drier and brighter version.

Types

Ports are often filled, sweet red wines with berry, caramel, cinnamon, and chocolate flavours. However, there are more variations such as dry, semi-dry, white, & rosé. In other words, Port, like other kinds of wines, comes in a wide range of styles to fit your preferences. In reality, there are 52 different types of Port wine. All of them cannot be listed but here are some important ones you should know about:

  • Colheita Port: This single-vintage Tawny Port is matured for at least seven years in wood casks. It’s meant to be consumed immediately after bottling.
  • Late-Bottled Vintage Port (LBV): This single-vintage Port is aged in a barrel for four to six years before bottling. Because it matures twice as much time as classic Port, you may enjoy it young.
  • Rosé Port: A beautifully fragrant Port with vibrant cherry and caramel aromas, as well as the unmistakable pink colour of rosé wine.
  • Ruby Port: A fairly young Port with a ruby hue and a fruity taste. This type is normally bottle-aged for a few years before being cellared.
  • Single-Quinta Port (SQVP): Port wines created from a single vineyard (also known as a quinta) and a single vintage (the year the grapes were collected) are included in this category.
  • Tawny Port: This mildly sweet, rich, brownish-red port is matured in oak barrels. Tawnies that have been matured for 10, 20, 30, or 40 years are rich and smooth wines.
  • Vintage Port: This style of Port is made from an extraordinary wine year and is matured in a barrel for no more than two years before bottling. These can be aged in the bottle for 10-50 years.
  • White Port: White grapes are used to make this Port type, which is matured in wood tanks. It has fruity notes (apple and stone fruit) with a nutty aftertaste.

Remember along with the alcohol content, the effect the wine has also varies depending on the food you eat, the type of drink, and the time of day. Also, check the best wine apps that can help you find more about different wines.

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