A fortified wine is a wine to which additional alcohol has been added, most commonly in the form of brandy (a distilled spirit).
The original reason for fortification was to preserve wines, as the higher alcohol level and additional sweetness (if the alcohol is added before fermentation finishes, killing the yeast and leaving residual sugar) help to preserve the wine. However now that these types of wine have been established people have developed a taste for them, even though other preservation methods exist.
Fortified wines must be distinguished from spirits made from wine. While both have increased alcohol content, spirits are the result of a process of distillation; while fortified wines have spirits added to them. Fortified wines generally have an alcohol content between that of wines and spirits.
Fortified wines are legally called dessert wines in the U.S. but are called liqueur wines in Europe.
The original reason for fortification was to preserve wines, as the higher alcohol level and additional sweetness (if the alcohol is added before fermentation finishes, killing the yeast and leaving residual sugar) help to preserve the wine.
Fortifiedwines must be distinguished from spirits made from wine.
To make red wine, by contrast, red grapes are merely crushed before spending a part or the whole of their fermentation period, plus in many cases a period of pre- or post-fermentation maceration, or soaking, in contact with the grape skins.
Fortifiedwines are made by adding high-strength spirit (usually brandy) to must or to partially fermented wine.
Its finest wines are its sherries, produced by fortification, oxidative ageing, and fractional blending in the Jerez area; and the soft red wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:
Press Releases |
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m