This is a story about a company called ConeTech and its founder, Mr. Anthony Dann. What ConeTech does is adjust the alcohol level in wine without compromising aromas and taste เหล้านอก. But, let me take a step back; please bear with me because I am a fan of “adjusting alcohol levels in wine” in an effort to make wine more enjoyable and easy on the palate.
Are the alcohol levels in wine getting a little out of hand, especially when we realize it is possible for wine alcohol content to be 16%? Is a 16% alcohol level giving the wine consumer value? Most people like the flavors in wine that enhance the enjoyment of a meal; but are 16% over the top? Others say they just want a balance of aromas and taste profiles in a wine. Many of us simply enjoy a glass of wine by itself as a time to enjoy flavors and aromas. Well, if you generally agree with the above then you are probably becoming more aware of what high alcohol levels are doing to impact your enjoyment of wine.
I started drinking wine in the 1960’s while in college. At that time I distinctly remember the alcohol in wine was about 11% and with pizza it was wonderful. Fast forward to today. At a recent wine tasting I noticed that a lot of the reds being poured were labeled at 15% alcohol. By legal standards that means alcohol content could be as high as 16.5% and still be within label requirements. Therefore, over a 25 year period alcohol content in U.S. wine has increased approximately 40%. European winemakers are also right up there with U.S. winemakers relative to alcohol in wine.
So the question now is: What has precipitated winemakers to make wine with high levels of alcohol? There appear to be three reasons. First, climate change in wine growing regions, especially in California, has changed the harvest. Then, as temperatures rise, the chemical process that takes place on the vines brings on higher sugar levels in the fruit. And, it is the yeast working on the sugars that bring on higher alcohol. Related to this first point which now brings us to the second point; fruit that stays on the vine also intensifies flavors and tannins. This helps eliminate the green flavors in underdeveloped fruit. Lastly, ultimately the wine is in the hands of God and the winemaker. It is the winemaker that selects the yeast profiles, fermentation and the blends. Yeast is becoming a bigger factor as yeast manufacturers do more and more research on yeasts and their idiosyncrasies in winemaking.
A winemaker friend reminds me that higher alcohol wine gives more intense flavors/full body. Further, reducing alcohol levels then forces a winemaker to do a delicate balancing act. The ultimate goal is maintaining the chemistry profiles/taste consistency of their wines from season to season so their customers can rely on the wine qualities and characteristics.