How To Fortify Wine?

FORTIFYING WINE To produce a proper port, sherry or madeira, you will need to add distilled spirits to your wine. This process is called ‘fortifying’ the wine. The PEARSON SQUARE is used to determine the amount of alcohol needed to fortify a wine.
When fortifying wine, you can use a regular brandy made from grape wine such as E&J and add it to a red wine you have made. This would be the most straightforward way of adding brand to a homemade wine.
As mentioned, wine is fortified simply by adding distilled spirits into it. The spirit is usually of the same component as the base wine. For example, if your wine is made of Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape spirit is also Cabernet Sauvignon; if you’ve got fortified mead, the spirit is also made of honey.

Can I make my own fortified wine?

It is entirely possible to make your own fortified wines using either the Port or Sherry method (with or without the solera). You can choose to use grapes or kits as your base wine. According to The Winemaker’s Answer Book when working with a standard kit you can add less water to the grape juice concentrate so that the sugar is between 25-30%.

How do you make fortified wine with residual sugar?

For home winemakers to make a fortified wine with some residual sugar, they simply must fortify (add brandy or other spirits) the fermenting juice and arrest the fermentation (by killing off the yeast with the high alcohol content) while the desired amount of sugar still remains in the fermenter.

Is fortified wine sweet or dry?

Whether a fortified wine ends up sweet or dry all comes down to timing. If a winemaker adds spirits to the wine before fermenting is complete, the result is a sweet fortified wine. Conversely, if the winemaker adds spirits after the fermentation process is finished, the outcome is a dry fortified wine.

How do they fortify wine?

This is done with an injection of more alcohol, usually another grape-derived spirit such as brandy. This process of adding more alcohol is known as ‘fortifying’ the liquid. With the yeast gone, the remaining sugar that had not yet been converted stays in the blend, creating a sweet and strong wine.

What do you add to wine to make it fortified?

Most commonly this spirit is brandy, but it can be any neutral spirit distilled from grapes, grains or sugar. Because these wines are stronger than usual, they are poured in smaller quantities.

How do you fortify homemade wine?

For home winemakers to make a fortified wine with some residual sugar, they simply must fortify (add brandy or other spirits) the fermenting juice and arrest the fermentation (by killing off the yeast with the high alcohol content) while the desired amount of sugar still remains in the fermenter.

What do they use to fortify port wine?

The two most common fortified wines available commercially are Port and Sherry. Port is fortified with aguardente vinica. A grape based drinking wine that is distilled to concentrate the alcohol to 35-60%. Sherry on the other hand is fortified with brandy, another grape distilled spirit.

When should you fortify wine?

Adding alcohol earlier in the fermentation process results in sweeter wine. For drier fortified wine styles, such as sherry, the alcohol is added shortly before or after the end of the fermentation.

How do you make fortified wine taste better?

A spoonful of sugar (or juice)

Granulated sugar can be hard to incorporate. Stevia works better. Adding simple syrup can help balance the flavors, but it also waters down the wine. The best way to sweeten wine is by adding unfermented grape juice.

Why are alcoholics called spirits?

Liquor is the spirit of alcohol

Alchemists in the Middle East were the first to master distillation. They weren’t only trying to find gold, either. They were also trying to make medical elixirs. To do so, they would distill liquid, collect the vapor, and gather the “spirit” that came off the material.

What is fortification in alcohol?


Fortified wines are obtained by the addition of wine-derived spirit (76%–78% volume) to fermented, partially fermented, or unfermented grape juice. The fortification results in wines with an alcoholic strength around 17%–20% alcohol (v/v).

Do sulfites fortify wine?

Sulphites act as both a wine’s preservative and enhancer, many vintners purposely add sulphites at key moments of the winemaking process to quickly halt on-going fermentation or to help protect the wine against potential oxidation or bacterial exposure which could occur at various stages of the winemaking process.

How long does it take to make a fortified wine?

Simply calculate the quantity of alcohol to add, based on the final concentration you want to achieve, mix the two liquids and let the wine mature in an oak barrel or glass carboy for about six months before bottling.

How do you make Port wine at home?


  1. Grapes – 10 kilos.
  2. Sugar – up to 250 grams per 1 liter of juice.
  3. Water – up to 30 ml per 1 liter of juice (in rare cases)
  4. Grape alcohol or brandy – 1.2-6.5 liters.
  5. Wine yeast – per 10 liters of must (optional)

What is the difference between port and fortified wine?

Port and fortified wine are both dessert wines. The difference between the two is where it’s made. Like sherry, which is a fortified wine made in Spain, port wine must come from Portugal to be called ‘port’. Port and fortified wines are associated with flavours such as chocolate, cinnamon, dried fruits and nuts.

What’s the difference between fortified and unfortified wine?

An unfortified wine can have a higher alcoholic concentration. The final wines achieved are not only sweeter, but they are also more alcoholic. However, fortified wine in the true meaning of the word means a wine achieved through the addition of a spirit to the wine, dry or sweet that is.

What is fortified wine and how do you make it?

Fortified wines, technically, are wines that have additional alcohol added to a finished wine in the form of brandy. If you want to make a port out of this wine, the easy way would be to pick up some brandy and start adding it until it tastes good to you.

When should I add alcohol to my fortified wine?

When you add your alcohol will depend upon whether or not you’re making a sweet or dry fortified wine. If you want a sweet wine taste the it as it ferments and add your fortifying spirit when the sweetness is to your liking.

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