High-alcohol wines tend to exhibit more objectionable heat, but it's also a question of balance. Other components of the wine should hide the alcohol enough to make it unobtrusive. A little heat may add to the overall quality of the wine, but too much is generally a bad thing.
Yep, RDCollins has it nailed. It's all about balance. Many of the new world wines like Mollydooker (Australia) and certain Zinfandels (like Ridge and higher end Rosenblums) can pull it off because they usually have enormous amounts of fruit complexity, along with good tannins, to match the high alcohol.

With a high-alcohol wine that has underwhelming fruit complexity, the sensation of drinking Welch's Grape juice mixed with Popov Vodka can come to mind.

When you taste wines, make sure to jot down the alcohol content in your notes, so you can find out what your likes are. Some folks love the big new world styles, some don't. Often, if you pop a "hot" (and young) wine in a decanter overnight, enough of the alcohol will evaporate, and things will improve for you.
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
Yep, RDCollins has it nailed. It's all about balance. Many of the new world wines like Mollydooker (Australia) and certain Zinfandels (like Ridge and higher end Rosenblums) can pull it off because they usually have enormous amounts of fruit complexity, along with good tannins, to match the high alcohol.

With a high-alcohol wine that has underwhelming fruit complexity, the sensation of drinking Welch's Grape juice mixed with Popov Vodka can come to mind.

When you taste wines, make sure to jot down the alcohol content in your notes, so you can find out what your likes are. Some folks love the big new world styles, some don't. Often, if you pop a "hot" (and young) wine in a decanter overnight, enough of the alcohol will evaporate, and things will improve for you.

I would take Mollydooker out of that list above...it is nothing more than the sweetened Welch's Grape juice mixed with Popov Vodka you mention. The 'dookers do not conceal anything, they are horrible at consealing anything other than the fact that the best thing they are used for is to run the disposal.
fcs,

Above is a good example of what I mention. I love many of the big new world wines with higher alcohol, like Mollydooker. Inky, as you can see, hates it. Is either of us wrong? Nope, not a bit.

That's the great part about wine, finding something that clicks with you. By all means, learn to trust your palate.
Funny post by Inky. I had one of the Marquis Phillips wines two nights ago and I see what he's talking about.

Indybob is right that it is a question of balance and your palate may find balance where other people may not. Neither is right.

But one thing that tends to happen when you have high alcohol is that you lose acidity. When you speak of balance, you want a balance between acidity, fruit, tannin and alcohol. In really ripe wines, they are sometimes "soft", which basically means that they don't have acidity and the riper fruit makes them seem, or actually be, sweeter. And alcohol itself can actually leave a lingering impression of sweetness on the palate, once you're past the burn. So winemakers add acid to the wine to bring it back into balance. If they do it well, you can't really tell. But sometimes you get the impression of alcoholic SweetTarts - really sour and really sweet and really hot at the same time. That's not good wine.

And going to your first post - zins tend to be higher in alcohol because of the way the fruit ripens. Some Australian, Spanish, and California wines, among others, tend to be high in alcohol because the fruit is grown in hot areas and allowed to become extremely ripe. Most of those don't also have astringent tannins, which would usually be associated with less ripeness.
All of the above are true.

Don't let my comment to indybob deter you if that is what you like. Thats the great thing about this site, discussion of almost any kind is open and free. We can all tell you what you should drink, but bottom line its the person who is drinking the wine that has to like it, and nobody should tell them otherwise.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×