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How Yeast Can Help Make Lower Alcohol Wine

The world is getting warmer, grapes are getting riper, and wine is getting higher in alcohol. You could pick earlier, add water (if legal), and/or use a bunch of technological gadgets and practices on a finished wine to try and bring levels down to a point where the wine is more balanced. Perhaps yeast is the answer? Specifically, Metschnikowia pulcherrima. Wine Spectator reports that this yeast strain was able to produce a Shiraz "...with alcohol levels 1.4 percent lower than a conventionally produced wine from the same must. In a test with Chardonnay, alcohol was 0.9 percent less."

When you buy wine, how much does the alcohol percentage matter? Does it matter at all? And should winemakers be cognizant of rising alcohol levels in wine and take steps to keep them in check if it means producing a better overall wine?



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