why are wines alcohol content growing so high

Sumary of Why Are Wines’ Alcohol Content Growing So High?:

  • Of the former, climate change and, in particular, global warming are heating up the vineyards, causing the grapes to build up more sugar, which, when crushed at the winery, ferments into alcohol..
  • For cool, rainy regions like Burgundy and Bordeaux, that is a welcome change, because there the grapes must struggle to attain a balance of alcohol, fruit, tannins and acids..
  • In lesser estates of Burgundy those wines may go through what is called chaptalization, by which sugar, usually as a syrup, is added to the grape must to boost the alcohol, or wines from sunny, warmer southern regions might be added as a booster..
  • But in warmer viticultural regions like California, South America and Australia, sufficient sugar is not a problem..
  • Taking advantage of those higher temperatures, most winemakers have allowed their wines’ sugar levels to increase, largely by letting the grapes hang on the vine longer, which also intensifies the sugar-juice content in the grapes..
  • These winemakers may argue, reasonably, that if you pick warm-climate grapes too soon, you achieve ideal alcohol levels but lose the flavor maturity called phenolic ripeness..
  • (There is a process, called reverse osmosis, by which alcohol can be removed from a wine without harming the flavor.) Workers harvest cabernet grapes at the end of the growing season at the Lagomarsino Vineyard in ….
  • (Photo by Tim Rue/Corbis via Getty Images) Corbis via Getty Images The argument in favor of higher alcohol wines is simply a question of preference among the wine drinking consumers….

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