Differences In Wine

whats the difference between a wine and a strong drink? also do you have unfermented wine or does wine always refer to a drink with alcohol in it?


Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

The short answer to your first question is that beverages labeled as "wine" are controlled by government regulations whereas a "strong drink" is a rather vague allusion, typically applied to beverages such as most cocktails containing distilled spirits with much higher alcohol content than wine. According to the TTB, the U.S. federal agency overseeing alcoholic beverages (as well as tobacco and other substances), wine contains at least 7% alcohol by volume. However, there are as well "non-alcoholic" or "alcohol-free" wines, both controlled terms referring to beverages with no more than 0.5% alcohol. For these drinks, the juice goes through fermentation, but nearly all the alcohol is removed, leaving only a trace amount. These so-called "alcohol-free" wines can be confused with grape juice, some marketed with the name of a familiar wine grape. To learn more, you may want to look over the information on the websites of two well-known brands of de-alcoholized wine, Fre (frewines.com) and Ariel (arielvineyards.com).


About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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