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alcohol content

alcoholic strength, content (GB)
gradazione alcolica (I)
teor alcoólico (PO)
graduación alcohólica (ES)
teneur en alcool, degré alcoolique (F)

The content of alcohol in wine refers to the proportion ethanol; the main type of alcohol present. The possible or theoretically achievable alcohol content of a wine can already be found in the grapes by the Mostgewicht can be calculated. It results from the sugar (Fructose and glucose) in the must, which in the fermentation in alcohol and carbon dioxide is converted. In the 19th century, the French chemist Joseph Gay-Lussac (1778-1850) developed a system that shows the alcohol content in degrees (°), which is still partly used in the Anglo-American region. Internationally used today and standardized within the EU, however, the specification in volume, The measurement is carried out at a temperature of 20 ° Celsius.

definition of Terms

There are four different terms for alcohol content. Above all, there is interest in how much alcohol is actually contained in the drink. Is in most countries label the existing alcohol content is given:

Existing alcohol content : Pure alcohol actually contained in the must or wine.

Potential alcohol content : Theoretical part which can be obtained by completely fermenting the residual sugar would also be possible. In Italy this value is often determined according to the alcohol content in the form of e.g. B. "14% vol + 4" specified. In the specific case, this means a residual sugar equivalent to 4% alcohol, which is about 65 g (1% alcohol corresponds to 16 to 17 g sugar).

Total alcohol content : sum of the available and potential alcohol content.

Natural alcohol content : total alcohol content before any enrich,

The rule of thumb is that during fermentation, 10 grams of sugar per 1,000 grams of must produce 0.66% vol alcohol. A content of 8 grams of alcohol per liter corresponds to around 1 ° or 1% vol. The conversion formula is% vol x 7.894 = grams of alcohol per liter (g / l) of wine. At 12% vol this gives 94.7 g / l. In a bottle of wine with 0.75 liters, that's 71 g of pure alcohol. An eighth of wine contains approximately the same amount of grams of alcohol as it has percent by volume. This means that one eighth of wine with 12% alcohol content contains 12 g of alcohol. A simple method for determining the alcohol content is Rebelein method,

Device from Dr. Rebelein for the determination of the alcohol content

health aspects

How high is the alcohol level if you drink a bottle of wine with 0.75 liters and an alcohol content of 12% vol? That also depends on the physical condition, the drinking speed, the gender and other factors. Using the thumb, these "three quarters of wine" result in a gross weight of 1.2 per mille for a man with a weight of around 85 kg and a drinking period of two hours (see formula below Blood Alcohol Concentration ). Regarding the acceptable consumption amount see under health,

alcoholic drinks

The alcohol strengths given are to be understood as approximate guidelines. For all alcoholic beverages there are in part different legal requirements in the countries with regard to minimum and often also maximum values (see under the relevant keywords such as for example cognac and in the countries):



alcohol-free beer 0.0 to 0.5
light beer 2.0 to 3.2
beer (top-fermented beer, Altbier, Kölsch) 4.5 to 5.4
Starkbier (bock beer) 5 to 12
Wine - light until 11
Wine - medium until 13
Wine - heavy over 13
sparkling wine - Cava. sparkling wine. champagne Etc. 9 to 13
fortified Wines - Malaga. port wine. sherry Etc. 15 to 19
brandy - Armagnac. cognac. Lourinhã. Metaxa Etc. 36 to 45
liqueur 11 to 55
rum 38 to 80

The "right" alcohol content has a positive influence on the taste. Lots flavorings are soluble in alcohol. Wines that are too heavy on alcohol lose them balance and can alcoholic respectively. gangrenous Act. They work less gossamery because the flavors are bound to the alcohol. It also suffers from it varietal, On the other hand, alcohol conceals acids, A phenomenon is that a dry aged wine with little residual sugar and high alcohol content is quite relative sweet can taste.

Wines with a high alcohol content have more body (Fullness), less alcohol underlines that elegance, Wines with (too) low alcohol content often taste without character and hollow (empty). At the level also known as the “sweet spot”, the wine achieves the most perfect possible harmony between Aroma. fruitiness and taste, With (too) alcoholic wines, this harmony can be achieved through the process alcohol reduction can be achieved.

wine regulations

According to EU Regulation is the existing alcohol content on label to be given in volume percentages by full or half units, rounded if necessary. The stated value may deviate from the content determined by the analysis by a maximum of 0.5% vol. For wines with the year of harvest, bottle storage for more than three years, sparkling wines. sparkling wines. liqueur wines and wines from overripe grapes, the specified alcohol content may differ from the one determined by the analysis by a maximum of 0.8% vol. The symbol "% vol" must be added to the value; This number can be preceded by the terms "existing alcohol content" or "existing alcohol" or the abbreviation "alc."

There are also requirements for minimum alcohol content growing zone, For A and B this has been as follows since 2009: For wine (formerly table wine) at least 6.5% (corresponds to 11.2 KMW, where you can read) plus max. possible enrichment by 2% results in 8.5% for the finished wine. For all other wine-growing zones, at least 9% apply. The requirements for country wine. quality wine and Prädikatswein may be regulated by the federal states themselves and are therefore very different (also for each growing region). See the regulations under the countries.

Taking into account country-specific regulations, a enrich with certain sugar-containing agents to increase the natural alcohol content. The addition of alcohol to the finished wine is called Spriten, The alcohol content can be determined by various methods; see under analytical testing, A complete list of all wine ingredients is under total extract contain.

Additional information

All tools, work and measures in the vineyard during the growth cycle can be found at Weingarten Care, Complete lists of the numerous cellar techniques, as well as a list of wine, sparkling wine and distillate types regulated by wine law are under the keyword winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,

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