History of Wine - Alcohol Content
When a wine with a low alcohol content is made, it is called “weak” and when a wine with a high alcohol content is made, it is called “generous”. Fermentation stops at fifteen degrees, regardless of the amount of sugar contained in the must.
After fermentation, hollandas are added to some wines; that is, brandy without aging and, therefore, without brown color or oak flavor. Sherry, port, Madeira and Marsala are some of the most popular. Despite the addition of alcohol, they are still considered wines because they are still considered “liqueur wines”.
This also happens with sparkling wines. In the traditional method, the last step is usually the addition of a brandy, which is also used to make sparkling wines, but which is flavored and gives a pleasant aftertaste. It is added at the last minute, when the aging cap is changed to a cork closure, and is sent to the market as soon as possible.
Only “brut nature” or “brut natural” is sold, which does not contain expedition liquor. It seems that sparkling wines that do not need expedition liquor are cheaper to produce, since they require fewer operations, but that is not the case. These expedition liqueurs compensate for the lack of wine or the insufficient natural characteristics of the drink.
However, obtaining a wine that does not need expedition liquor and that has adequate natural characteristics as a drink is difficult. Non-fortified wines and wines with natural bubbles are more digestible than good liqueurs because the toxic alcohols in the former are more dilute than in the latter.
Wines stay fresh longer if they have a high alcohol content. Below nine degrees, wines spoil after a year. To keep up with the recent increase in sales of very high-grade wines, wines with an increasingly higher alcohol content are being produced: thirteen, fourteen and even higher grades.
The problem is that these wines have too much alcohol because of their function as table wine. If you don’t add water at the end of a meal, you may find yourself too intoxicated to enjoy the wine you’ve consumed.