|source: Wine Folly|
Alcohol is an organic compound found in alcoholic beverages. In Chemistry, Ethanol is a type of alcohol and which gives the person the feeling of ‘drunkenness’ after consumption. It is colorless, volatile and has a characteristic odor.
Wines are known to be an alcoholic beverage because during fermentation the sugar in the grapes break down and forms ethanol. Wine has around 9%-16% alcohol. Whereas other alcoholic beverages like Beer has 2%-12% of alcohol, Vodka has 35%-50% alcohol, Gin has 40%-50% alcohol and Whisky has 48%-68% alcohol.
Alcohol is measured in terms of Alcohol by Volume or ABV and this form of measurement is used worldwide. It is the no of milliliters of pure ethanol in 100ml of the solution at 20 degree Celsius. The simplest way to calculate alcohol content in wine is with the help of hydrometer. It helps in calculating the difference in the density of the solution before and after fermentation which helps in determining the volume of alcohol in solution.
There is no standard criteria across various countries to classify wines are low, medium or high alcohol on the basis of their alcohol content. We also have Zero-percent alcohol wines. Therefore, if you do concern about the alcohol percentage in wines or other liqueurs, it is important to know what is the classification which is generally used in a city or country. Generally, wines containing up to 10% alcohol are classified as Low Alcohol., between 11-15% are Medium Alcohol and more than 15% are High Alcohol. There is a further classification into low alcohol red and low alcohol white wines, and likewise for medium and high alcohol ones.
Grapes having lower levels of sugar but which are fully ripe tend to produce low alcohol wines during fermentation upon the action of yeast. By making small alterations in the winemaking methods, the amount of alcohol produced can be controlled during the fermentation process.
Wines coming from cool climate regions and the wines coming from warmer regions present at high altitudes tend to have low alcohol content.