Some wines are described as fortified.


Synonyms: dessert wine, vins de liquer. liquer wine


Fortified wine consists of:

(1) a wine

(2) to which there is added a distilled spirit (often brandy but potentially of any kind)


Examples: Madeira, port wine, sherry, vermouth


The final alcohol content varies on the type of fortified wine. Many wines achieve an alcohol content of 16-18%, which can be increased further by the amount of spirit added.


Reasons for creating a fortified wine:

(1) for preservation (allowing the wine to be kept longer after being open, with the alcohol preventing growth of organisms that may turn the wine into wine vinegar).

(2) for sweetness (if added before the yeast have consumed all of the sugars, with the alcohol killing the yeast)

(3) for intoxication at a relatively low price (which makes it attractive to the poor)


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