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Does Alcohol Level Affect Wine Quality

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rustbucket

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Recently, I noticed that the home made wines in my cellar with alcohol levels in the 11% are more complex than the 13% wines after a year of aging. It got me wondering if high alcohol levels inhibit wine development. While this assessment is subjective based on a small sampling, I'd be curious if other wine makers on this forum noticed the adverse correlation of alcohol level to wine taste complexity.
 

GaDawg

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I would think different wine works with different alcohol levels. It's not a question of high or low alcohol as much as it's a question
of appropriate alcohol. For example higher alcohol seams to works better with a Cabernet Souvignon and lower alcohol seams to
works better with a Gewurztraminer.
 

salcoco

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it is a question of balance not level. the sugar , acid, tannin and alcohol have to be in balance, thus the wine will be best. buy balance no one element overcomes the taste of the wine or other elements.
 

rustbucket

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it is a question of balance not level. the sugar , acid, tannin and alcohol have to be in balance, thus the wine will be best. buy balance no one element overcomes the taste of the wine or other elements.
You may be right, Bernard, but the wines I'm talking about came from kits; so my assumption has been that component balance is assured by the kit manufacturer. Some manufacturers tell you what alcohol level to expect which indicates that they designed the kit to achieve that ABV. Others, who are more realistic, don't give that information. In my case, it just seemed to work out that those kit wines with the lower alcohol level are more complex after maturity.
 

salcoco

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I have been making wines from kit for almost 30 years and the best I can say is that there is no guarantee that the wine is balanced post fermentation. thee is plenty of posts regarding tweaks for wine kits that may be of benefit. but wine balance needs to be checked by the winemaker before bottling.I have improved many a wine through either sugar syrup addition or acid addition. with regard to sugar tadditon the intent was not to sweeten the wine but to balance against acidity,alcohol or tannin.
 

Tetrarch

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You may be right, Bernard, but the wines I'm talking about came from kits; so my assumption has been that component balance is assured by the kit manufacturer. Some manufacturers tell you what alcohol level to expect which indicates that they designed the kit to achieve that ABV. Others, who are more realistic, don't give that information. In my case, it just seemed to work out that those kit wines with the lower alcohol level are more complex after maturity.
I have been making wines from kit for almost 30 years and the best I can say is that there is no guarantee that the wine is balanced post fermentation. thee is plenty of posts regarding tweaks for wine kits that may be of benefit. but wine balance needs to be checked by the winemaker before bottling.I have improved many a wine through either sugar syrup addition or acid addition. with regard to sugar tadditon the intent was not to sweeten the wine but to balance against acidity,alcohol or tannin.
Surely you do not mean a sugar addition post fermentation?
Have you a recommendation for improving the wine aroma. What acid do you use?
 

salcoco

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sugar addition can enhance wine aroma. for grape wines I use tartaric. for apple , malic for berry wines citrus for all other frut tartaric.
 

CabSauv

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it is a question of balance not level. the sugar , acid, tannin and alcohol have to be in balance, thus the wine will be best. buy balance no one element overcomes the taste of the wine or other elements.
^THIS!! It's all about the balance.

You're going to get a more balanced wine if all your sugar comes naturally from the fruit/grapes whereas if you use a lot of refined sugar to increase the alcohol, you're going to then need to pay closer attention to acidity, tannin, and sweetness to ensure you're wine doesn't get out of balance and thus a high alcohol but bland wine. I've had them before, it's almost like a watered down wine with high alcohol, basically flavored vodka in my opinion. They have their place in mixed drinks, but not in my wine glass. :)
 

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