In the Drink: Wine Has a Bigger Buzz Factor

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jan 4, 2010  |  Updated 1:39 PM PDT
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It's not 100-proof by a long shot, but the alcohol content in California wines is inching up these days.

This is a story about supply and demand -- and apparently wine drinkers are demanding more buzz per glass.

In California, a wine is declared a "table wine" if it has an alcohol content below 13 percent.  Those are becoming rare.

Wines 14 percent or higher on the other hand have tripled in sales in the past decade, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Vintners cite many factor for the growing alcohol content.  High-alcohol wines can get from the vineyard to the table faster. Lower-alcohol bottles need a lot longer in the wine cellar.

Randy Dunn of Howell Mountain grapes is not a fan of the new high alcohol wines.

 "The perfect alcohol level for wine is when you and a friend can sit down and finish a bottle, and wish there was just one more glass," he told the newspaper.

By the way, beers are seeing the same upward trend. One Sam Adams option weighs in at a whopping 27 percent alcohol content.

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