Pacific Rim
December 24, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

Typical Alcohol Content of Red Blend Wine

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, many people will be consuming their favorite wines. We were recently surprised to find out that some people believe that red blend wine alcohol content is lower than beer. Let's clear that up in case anyone doesn't tend to read the labels: Most wines contain at least twice as much, or more, alcohol than beer. It is important to know the alcohol content of wine. The amount of alcohol in any given bottle of wine is known as the “ABV” or alcohol by volume. 

More Sugar = More Alcohol

The alcohol content of wine correlates directly to the amount of sugar that develops in the grapes; the higher the level of sugar, the more likely it is that the wine will have more alcohol. Just because there is more sugar in the grapes, however, does not mean that the wine will be sweeter. In all cases, the yeast consumes the sugar and converts it into alcohol during the fermentation process. 

Region Where the Wine is Produced

Other factors that may affect the alcohol content of wine include the region where the grapes are grown.  Determining influences include the soil, the process of fermentation, and the climate. For example, the longer the process of fermentation, the more sugar is converted into alcohol. Also, a red blend from the American Northwest is typically going to have a slightly higher alcohol content than a similar wine from France because of the warmer weather.

So how much alcohol is present in red blend wines?

The red blend wine alcohol content in a bottle can range from as little as 5.5 percent ABV to as much as 20 percent. Red blend wine with even a small amount of alcohol content will typically generate a sensation of heat at the back of your throat at the first sip. Wines with a high ABV will taste bolder, warmer, and be associated with a mild burning sensation. Today, almost all wines have labels that indicate the ABV content. In general, you should know the following:

  • Low-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV under 12.5% 
  • Moderate-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV between 12.5%-14%
  • High-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV of 14.5% or higher

Food Pairings

  1. Low-alcohol red blend wines pair well with lighter foods, like charcuterie, appetizers, seafood, and soft cheese and crackers. These wines are ideal for an informal party at work or home. The 2018 SILVER TOTEM RED BLEND with its fruity flavors and pleasant aroma will do quite nicely during your holiday season social gatherings.
  2. Medium-alcohol red blend wines pair well with mild dishes, like pasta, white chicken, poultry, pork, salmon, and Mexican cuisine. You will not go wrong with the  2020 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR; it is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods.
  3. High-alcohol red blend wines pair well with meaty dishes, like kebabs, lamb, roasted duck, barbecued chicken, short ribs, steak, and rich desserts, such as crème brûlée and chocolate cheesecake. The 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON is an excellent wine to pair with these foods.

For more information on red blend wine alcohol content and what the best wines are to serve your guests, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454.  Their staff is passionate and knowledgeable about all types of wines.


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