Alcohol Content in Wine and Other Drinks (Infographic)

You have to wonder about alcohol content in wine. Where does wine stand in the spectrum of other drinks? While most people assume that beer is lighter in alcohol than wine, this isn’t always the case.

Let’s dispel some common misconceptions about beer vs. wine and other alcoholic drinks and see the wide variation of alcohol levels in beverages.

Alcohol Content in Wine

alcohol content in wine and other drinks infographic by Wine Folly

Alcohol Content in Different Types of Beer, Wine, and Liquor

BEER

Beer can swing wildly between low-alcohol lagers to teeth numbing IPAs and Stouts. Some brewers will choose sky-high ABV to preserve flavor and stability of a beer over time, to experiment like mad-scientists, and sometimes to follow a trending style. Here’s a list of popular beers that run the alcohol gamut.

  • 3.5% Heineken Premium Light, Amstel Light
  • 4% Guinness Black
  • 4.2% Bud/Coors Light
  • 4.4% Yuengling
  • 4.6% Corona Extra
  • 5% Coors/Budweiser/MGD/Stella Artois
  • 5% Heineken
  • 5.6% Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • 8.4% Tripel Karmeliet (Belgium ale)
  • 9% Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (Imperial IPA)

WINE

Alcohol content in wine tends to follow the style and vintage closely. You aren’t likely to find your personal favorite with a wildly out of character alcohol rating. Here’s a list of common wines.

  • 5-6.5% Moscato d’Asti
  • 7-8% German Riesling
  • 10.5-12% Most American, Austrian, and Australian Riesling
  • 11.5-12.5% Lambrusco (sparkling red/rosé)
  • 12-13% Most Pinot Grigio
  • 12.5-13% Most Beaujolais
  • 12.5-13% Most Sauvignon Blanc
  • 13%-14% Most Pinot Noir and Red Bordeaux
  • 13.5% – 15% Malbec
  • 13-14.5% Most Chardonnay
  • 13.5-14.5% Most Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and French Syrah
  • 14 – 15% Most Shiraz and American Syrah
  • 14.5% Sauternes (sweet white dessert wine)
  • 14- 15.5% Most Zinfandel
  • 14 – 15% Most Grenache
  • 15% Muscat (sweet dessert wine)
  • 15.9% Rombauer and Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel
  • 16% Mollydooker Shiraz
  • 17-21% Port, Madeira, Sherry, Other Fortified Dessert Wines

LIQUOR

20% VERMOUTH (technically, an aromatized wine with added spirits)

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17-20% SAKE

21-35% SHOCHU

30-39% FRUIT & HERB LIQUEUR

35-46% LIQUOR

  • 35-40% Gin
  • 35-46% Vodka
  • 40-46% Whiskey, Scotch, Rum, Tequila

55-60% CASK STRENGTH WHISKEY/SCOTCH


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About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly