Which Wine Has The Most Alcohol?

When getting into wine, it's important to understand the varieties, as well as which wines are best for beginners. You should also understand the difference a serving glass can make to a wine and how the temperature at which you're drinking wine can completely alter its flavor profile. Finally, you need to know how much alcohol your wine has in it. Sure, each bottle has its alcohol percentage labeled on it, but it's also helpful to know which varieties inherently have more alcohol than their counterparts. This can save you time when shopping and lead you to the right wine for you!

To start, you should know which wines have rather low alcohol content levels. According to Real Simple, rieslings are a perfect variety for folks who want wine but don't want to get too drunk. Rieslings only offer between 9 and 11% alcohol. "Although it can get a bad rap for being overly sweet, a good riesling will boast an acidity that balances out any residual sweetness in the wine. With a wide variety of flavor profiles, this food-friendly wine [is] one of the best examples of delicious low-alcohol wines," explained sommelier Christopher Hoel. Moscato, too, is a refreshing, low alcohol wine that can be enjoyed year-round.

Now that we know which wines have less alcohol, though, let's turn toward the wine with the most alcohol.

These three wines will get you tipsy faster than any other

Like any group of alcoholic drinks, wines vary greatly in alcohol content levels, but coming in on the higher end are varieties that have 14.5% or higher, per Delish. However, according to Delish, wine doesn't naturally carry this high of an alcohol level, so high alcohol wines are fortified with distilled grape brandy to increase their levels. Because this brandy comes from grapes, it won't skew the flavor of the wine much, and it will get the job done faster.

As for which wine reigns supreme as the highest, it's typically marsala, madeira, and port wine varieties, according to Spoon University. All three offer alcohol levels around 20%, and worth noting is that sherry can also get up to this alcohol level, though sherry often ranges from 15 to 20% instead of remaining consistently at 20%.

Having three — or four, depending — options for high alcohol wine lets you play with flavor combinations in unique ways. Every wine pairs well with different foods, so this allows you room to get your drink on with more food options. Marsala is often used in cooking, but is also a sipping wine, while madeira is a sweet dessert wine and port is a wine that pairs incredibly well with cheese (via Spoon University). These are wines you want to save until the end of the day, but they're well worth the wait.