A to Z Postcards

Colourful, collectible and straight to the point, our handy A-Z postcards can be viewed and downloaded here, just click on a letter. Please email marketing@libertywines.co.uk if you would like printed copies.

  • A is for Alcohol
  • B is for Biodynamic
  • C is for Cork
  • D is for Duty
  • F is for Fault
  • G is for Garganega
  • H is for Harvest
  • I is for Irrigation
  • J is for Jerez
  • K is for Kabinett
  • L is for Late Harvest
  • M is for McLaren Vale
  • N is for Natural Wine
  • O is for Oak
  • P is for Passito

A is for Alcohol

In wine, alcohol is produced by yeasts fermenting sugar in the ripe grapes. Alcohol itself is tasteless, but it does affect the way that wine tastes. For a wine to be perfectly balanced, the alcohol level should not be noticeable. If the level is too high, the wine might taste ‘hot’. Too low and it might seem insipid. Wines described as full-bodied (e.g. Rioja, Pinotage, Zinfandel), tend to have higher alcohol to balance rich fruits and firm structures while wines described as light (e.g. Moscato d’Asti, German Riesling), tend to be low in alcohol.

For a quality wine to be sweet, this relies on not all the natural grape sugars being converted to alcohol during fermentation. For a wine to be bone dry, there will only be trace levels of sugar left in the wine. In the past two decades, the alcohol levels in wines from around the world (Bordeaux and Burgundy as well as Australia and Argentina) have risen. This is due to numerous factors, among which are lower yields, riper grapes, more efficient yeasts and fermentation in closed tanks.

There is now a move by producers around the world to bring alcohol levels down without sacrificing flavour and tannin ripeness, for example the Greenstone Shiraz from Heathcote and Plantagenet Riesling from Western Australia.  In wine, alcohol is produced by yeasts fermenting sugar in the ripe grapes.

Alcohol itself is tasteless, but it does affect the way that wine tastes. For a wine to be perfectly balanced, the alcohol level should not be noticeable. If the level is too high, the wine might taste ‘hot’.  Too low and it might seem insipid.

Wines described as full-bodied (e.g. Rioja, Pinotage, Zinfandel), tend to have higher alcohol to balance rich fruits and firm structures while wines described as light (e.g. Moscato d’Asti, German Riesling), tend to be low in alcohol. For a quality wine to be sweet, this relies on not all the natural grape sugars being converted to alcohol during fermentation.  For a wine to be bone dry, there will only be trace levels of sugar left in the wine. In the past two decades, the alcohol levels in wines from around the world (Bordeaux and Burgundy as well as Australia and Argentina) have risen. This is due to numerous factors, among which are lower yields, riper grapes, more efficient yeasts and fermentation in closed tanks.