Watering down wine sounds like a bad idea. However, this may not be true in all circumstances. Should you mix water with wine?
Watering down wine markedly alters the chemical composition of your wine but is not all wrong since it can help liberate and improve the taste especially if the wine has a high ABV. Wines are brewed to perfection with the right amount of alcohol by volume, calories, and water content. Thus, mixing water with wine alters the wine’s aroma, flavor, and even appearance but also lowers the alcohol content and may spoil the wine structure.
The brewing process for wines is a meticulous process that requires lots of hard work. Diluting the wine with water undo this well-planned, and implemented winemaking process. Moreover, it alters the taste (flavor) aroma, alcohol content, and wine structure.
What happens if you water down wine?
Watering down wine markedly alters the chemical composition of your wine but is not all wrong since it can help liberate and improve the taste especially if the wine has a high ABV. Wines are brewed to perfection with the right amount of alcohol by volume, calories, and water content to create a signature taste, aroma, and structure.
Thus, mixing water with wine alters the wine’s aroma, flavor, and even appearance but also lowers the alcohol content and may spoil the wine structure.
We all know that the ancient greeks used to dilute wine with water. However, the reason for mixing water with wine was to mask the foul smell of stagnant water that was available for drinking. They would also use seawater, lemons, and even spices to get a different taste for their water.
In modern times, you can add water to enhance the taste and aroma of your wine. This is because drinks with higher alcohol by volume hold onto the aroma molecules meaning they will release very little of the aroma into the air.
Thus, depending on your taste and aroma preference, you can drink your red or white wine with a splash of water or not since for some it dilutes the flavor and aroma of the wine.
1. Watering down wine to liberate and enhance flavors
If your wine has a high ABV, it may require watering down to liberate and enhance flavors. As described above, high alcohol-content wines tend to hold onto the aroma. This way, you can not have the expected sweet aroma from your wine filling your dining or party area.
This type of wine may require a splash of water according to your preference to enhance the aroma emanating from the wine. This will fill the air in your area with the wine sweet smell.
Moreover, high AVB wine may have a burning taste instead of the sweet wine taste. The alcohol content of white wine can be lowered by adding the right amount of water. This more prominent burn than a flavor taste can be rectified by adding just the right amount of water. However, you need to know if your wine will be ruined by mixing it with water.
A good way to understand how watering down wine actively changes the chemical composition of the wine is to first look at what happens when you leave the wine to oxidize. When you leave wine out at room temperature, it oxidizes.
When wine oxidizes, it changes color and flavor. Some people prefer oxidized wine because they think it tastes better. If you’re not one of those people, then you can prevent the oxidation process by covering your wine with a seal and storing it in a dark place, like a wine cooler.
When you water down wine, you’re actively adding new water to the wine. This actively changes the chemical composition of the wine and can dramatically impact the flavor of the wine.
Most of the wine will not get a flavor improvement when mixed with water because it can ruin the intended taste, aroma, and spoils the layered wine complexity.
2. Watering down wine to avoid the hangover
Some people suggest that watering down your wine can help reduce the risk of a hangover. The logic behind this reasoning is that by watering down your wine, you reduce its alcohol content.
One of the main recommended ways to reduce hangovers is to stay hydrated. Therefore watering down wine will help you avoid dehydration. This way, it reduces the intoxication, and thus the chances of a hangover reduce.
Dehydration occurs during the elimination of wine from the body. Excreting one glass of wine lead to the elimination of up to three to four glasses of water from the body. Thus, you need to take a lot of water to reduce dehydration. You are thus helping your liver to eliminate alcohol by watering it down.
Wine is made from fermented grapes, which are crushed and then left to sit with yeast and bacteria. The yeast and bacteria cause the sugar in the grapes to break down into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
The alcohol content in wine can vary, but it’s often around 10% to 15% ABV including popular wines like Chardonnay whose alcohol content is 13.5% by volume on average, or varieties of white zinfandel wines with an ABV of about 10%. The alcohol percentage in beer can be significantly higher.
You may want to know if you Can Mix Red and White Wine: Learn all the details about mixing red and white wine on that comprehensive article
Can You Put Water in Wine?
A lot of people ask if you can put water in wine. The short answer is yes. There is a long history of putting water in wine, also known as “miskal” in some cultures. In fact, the Romans and Greeks were known to occasionally put water in their wine.
There are a few reasons why you might want to add water to wine.
- One reason is to stretch out the amount of wine you have. If you were hosting a party and ran out of wine, you could add water to the remaining bottles to stretch them out.
- Another reason to put water in wine is that you don’t like the taste of the wine you purchased. Some wines have a more bitter taste than others, which could be due to the type of grapes used, the growing conditions, and the aging process. If you don’t like the taste of the wine, adding water can help to reduce the bitterness.
- Finally, some people put water into wine to reduce dehydration which can cause hangovers. Therefore, you can add water to ensure even as the body eliminates the wine and water in urine, you do not get dehydrated thus no hangover.
Why Would You Water Down Wine?
Let’s start with the most common reason for watering down wine: to liberate and enhance flavors. This is one of the reasons why you’ll often see people recommending adding water to expensive wines.
This might sound like a silly idea, but it’s actually a really smart tip. Even though expensive wines are delicious, they may not taste their best. Why? Because high alcohol wines often have really high alcohol content which can have a burning sensation as you take it.
Wines with high alcohol content can taste really overwhelming and can make the wine taste really acidic. If you’re not a fan of acidic wines, then you might want to add water to tone down the flavor.
Does Adding Water to Wine Make it Weaker?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is yes, but not the way you might think. Let’s start with the alcohol content. The alcohol content in wine is often around 10% ABV, but it can vary.
When you add water to wine, you dilute the drink, which means you also dilute the alcohol content. When you add water to wine, it lowers the ABV percentage, which can make it seem like the wine is weaker.
The truth is that the wine is still just as strong as it was, you’re just drinking less of the wine. The amount of water you add to the wine will impact how diluted the alcohol content is.
If you add a large amount of water, then you will see a dramatic reduction in the alcohol content.
What is Watering Down Wine?
We’ve talked a lot about the different ways that you can water down your wine. But what, exactly, is watering down wine?
Watering down wine is the process of adding water to a drink, typically wine, to reduce the drink’s alcohol content. Watering down wine is often done to reduce the alcohol content of high-ABV wines. It’s also done purely for taste reasons since some wines have very high alcohol content.
Watering down wine can also help in releasing the bonded aroma from your wine creating an excellent environment to enjoy your wine and meals. This is because the high alcohol volume wines can have a reduced release of wine aroma molecules into the air.
The Problem With Watering Down Wine
When you water down wine, you can vigorously alter the chemical composition of the wine thus lowering its quality in taste and aroma. When you add water to wine, you are diluting the drink, which means you are also diluting the alcohol content.
Diluting the alcohol content of wine can have a negative impact on the flavor of the wine that you aren’t expecting. If you’re not careful, you can end up ruining your wine.
Wines are meticulously brewed and stored for a long duration. Watering the wine down can destroy a brew that someone took time, energy, plans, and content to create.
How to Safely Water Down Your Wine: Mulled wine
When it comes to watering down your wine, you want to do it in a safe and responsible way. To do this, you’re going to use a few different strategies to ensure that you don’t negatively impact the flavor of your wine.
- First, you want to choose a wine that’s low in alcohol, to begin with. You can do this by choosing a wine that has a lower alcohol content.
- Alternatively, you can look for lower-alcohol wine. You can also choose a wine that has a high acidity, which can help balance out the flavor.
- Finally, you can dilute your wine with water in small increments. You don’t want to add too much water at once, since that can make your wine taste bland.
If you’re someone who loves to drink wine, but you don’t like the taste of it, you may want to consider watering down your wine.
While it can have some negative effects on your wine- by ruining the intended signature taste and aroma, it can also make the drink more enjoyable to sip. Most sommeliers indicate that adding a splash or two of water to your wine will improve the taste of your high-alcohol content wine.
That being said, you don’t want to overdo it. You want to make sure that you are watering down your wine in a responsible manner so that your wine doesn’t lose flavor.
When it comes to watering down your wine, you want to do it in a safe and responsible way. Follow the tips we’ve outlined in this article and you can enjoy watering down your wine without any consequences!