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Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Old Aug 29th 2010, 2:44 pm
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Default Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Hi everybody,
A bit of a strange question, but I am currently in the UK until November. I was just shopping for a nice bottle of wine, and I normally look for one with about 13 - 14% alcohol volume. It suddenly struck me that I'm sure in the US the bottles don't display the alcohol volume. Am I correct in saying this? if so how can you tell??
Any advice please.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by paulward50 View Post
Hi everybody,
A bit of a strange question, but I am currently in the UK until November. I was just shopping for a nice bottle of wine, and I normally look for one with about 13 - 14% alcohol volume. It suddenly struck me that I'm sure in the US the bottles don't display the alcohol volume. Am I correct in saying this? if so how can you tell??
Any advice please.
Not too sure about wine (I know we have a few wine drinkers on here though) But the spirits do have the volume, usually on the neck or the bottom of the label...normally, it's around 40%
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/conten...ne-labels.html
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

ALCOHOL CONTENT
Alcohol content must be stated on any wines containing more than 14% alcohol by volume. These wines, even if the level of alcohol is reached naturally, are considered "fortified" and taxed at a rate four times higher than wines under 14%. For wines under 14%, either the alcohol content may be stated or the designations "Table Wine" or "Light Wine" may be used, both phrases implying alcohol content within a range of 7% to 14%.

A tolerance of 1% over or under the stated level is permitted on wines above 14%. A greater latitude of 1.5% is allowed on wines under 14% (although in no case is it allowed to exceed 14%). Many wines are labeled "alcohol 12.5% by volume" to take full advantage of this tolerance. The variation is permitted for practical reasons. It is impossible to accurately predict final alcohol content in order to print labels in advance of bottling and it's completely uneconomical to print labels after the wine is bottled. Evaporation during aging is not entirely controllable, so some changes will occur. The most common methods of measuring alcohol content use equipment that is either imprecise (vinometer) or expensive and somewhat cumbersome (ebulliometer). Large modern wineries frequently have fairly sophisticated chemistry labs on-site and are able take more precise measurements using a gas chromatograph.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by paulward50 View Post
Hi everybody,
A bit of a strange question, but I am currently in the UK until November. I was just shopping for a nice bottle of wine, and I normally look for one with about 13 - 14% alcohol volume. It suddenly struck me that I'm sure in the US the bottles don't display the alcohol volume. Am I correct in saying this? if so how can you tell??
Any advice please.
All wine bottles I've seen, at least in WA, display the ABV.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

There are three main ways that alcohol content is measured.

ABV, or alcohol by volume, is now the industry standard in much of the developed world including the USA and UK. This is because it is the most direct way of conveying the actual alcohol content. It literally means the number of millilitres of alcohol in each 100ml of the drink.

Proof is an old-fashioned measure that is still used sometimes, more in the USA. Without going into all the gubbins about why it exists, it is defined as ABV x 7/4.

In the USA many measurements are calculated differently to the rest of the world. This is no exception. "Proof" in the USA is ABV x 2.

Therefore a bottle of UK produced Scotch labelled as 70% proof has the same alcohol content as a bottle of JD labelled as 80% proof.

Units also vary from country to country. In the UK a unit of alcohol is 10ml, whereas in the USA it is 17.7ml. However the method for calculating units is the same:

%ABV x Number of milliltres of drink
1000 x Number of millilitres per unit

So, using the above calculation, a 750ml bottle of 12%ABV wine would be 9 UK units but only 5.1 USA units.

Last edited by bivlover; Aug 29th 2010 at 5:52 pm.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Thank you all for some great information.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Just finished a bottle of Californian Zinfandel and it is 9.5% by volume in very small lettering on the bottom right hand side of the label. I've also seen the % in very tiny (magnifying glass) letters on a label.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by joto View Post
Just finished a bottle of Californian Zinfandel and it is 9.5% by volume in very small lettering on the bottom right hand side of the label. I've also seen the % in very tiny (magnifying glass) letters on a label.
As joto said, the alcohol content is often in very small print on the label, so you have to look hard, but it's always there (at least on the wines I'm buying). You'll have no trouble finding 13% - 14% ABV. I've even found some at 15%+!

joto, what zin was it that you found at 9.5% if you don't mind me asking, and was it any good? I'm always on the lookout for something that's less than rocket fuel.
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Old Aug 29th 2010, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by Skiboy View Post
joto, what zin was it that you found at 9.5% if you don't mind me asking, and was it any good? I'm always on the lookout for something that's less than rocket fuel.
I know the white Zinfandels (as opposed to standard Zinfandel of which I know little) are usually relatively low compared to whites and reds - often 9-10% compared to 11-13%. But I do have particular tastes so that is a broad generalization!
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Skiboy, lucky for you the bottle is still here. It is a Redwood Creek White Zinfandel 2008 by Frei Brothers Vineyards and it was pretty good, but who am I to judge as I don't usually drink that type of wine. Can't remember how much it cost, but probably under $10.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

I have a Sutter Home Sauvigon Blanc in my refrigerator that indicates 13% by volume.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by joto View Post
Skiboy, lucky for you the bottle is still here. It is a Redwood Creek White Zinfandel 2008 by Frei Brothers Vineyards and it was pretty good, but who am I to judge as I don't usually drink that type of wine. Can't remember how much it cost, but probably under $10.
Thanks joto. I'm normally a red drinker, but a nice light white is always good to have around.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 9:34 am
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

Originally Posted by Skiboy View Post
Thanks joto. I'm normally a red drinker, but a nice light white is always good to have around.
White Zinfandel is not white - despite the name
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Alcohol Volume in US ?????

I think it varies State-to-State if they have to put the ABV on.

Here in Indiana some beers have it on - others don't.

Sites like this are handy for looking up beer strength:
http://www.realbeer.com/edu/health/calories.php

I'm sure a quick search will turn up the ABV for any bottle of wine that doesn't have it on the label.
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