Many people brag that they don’t get a buzz from wine. The Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of wines is relatively lower, as compared to other alcoholic beverages. But this doesn’t mean that wine cannot “strike” you. In fact, there are some wines that might leave you with more than just a buzz. These high alcohol wines are not easy to handle, if you don’t drink with caution. So, buy them at your own risk!

It is a common assumption that wine is light on alcohol. Isn’t that the reason why it is perfect for brunches and family gatherings? Or why many people prefer it over whisky, rum and vodka? Wine’s mellow image has played a big role in making it socially acceptable for women and men in India to consume liquor in front of their families. However, wines aren’t crafted uniformly, and the variation in alcohol levels can be significantly dramatic. Wine can contain anywhere between 5.5 percent to 23 percent ABV. Most wines that are available in the market fall somewhere in between- with 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent ABV.

High Alcohol Wines For Those Who Want Something Stiffer

Before we check out high alcohol wines, here’s an important point to discuss: the standard serving size for high alcohol wines is almost half of your regular wines (150 ml). So if you have two glasses of wine (standard serving size) usually, then either cut down on your serving size or the number of glasses, when you are having a high alcohol wine.

Sherry or Port: Sherry is from Spain while Port is from Portugal. What’s common between them? They are both fortified wines- which means that winemakers add extra alcohol to the wines during the winemaking process. Sherry contains 16 to 18 percent alcohol and Port contains 20 to 22 percent alcohol.

Amarone Della Valpolicella: This Italian wine is made from dried grapes. The drying process increases the sugar content in the grapes, as a result of which, they produce more alcohol during the process of fermentation. This wine contains 16 to 17 percent alcohol by volume.

Zinfandel from California or Shiraz from Australia: The sugar content in grapes increases with their level of ripeness. Regions of California and Australia that produce Zinfandel and Shiraz, respectively, have a hot and sunny climate, which causes grapes to ripen fully. The result is wines that have as much as 15 percent alcohol by volume.

Madeira: This Portuguese wine has barely changed in the last 300 years. During aging, this fortified wine undergoes repeated heating and cooling, resulting in a distinctive flavor development. Madeira can also be aged for over 100 years due to its unique ageing process. It contains 20 percent alcohol by volume.

Marsala: This Sicilian wine is usually used in cooking, however, if you put it in a glass, it can give any other fortified wine a run for its money. This wine receives fortification from brandy or a neutral grape spirit crafted using regional grapes. To give the wine its colour, winemakers add a cooked grape juice called ‘Mosto Cotto’. Like Madeira, Marsala too contains 20 percent alcohol by volume.


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