How to Make Fortified Wine

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Fortified wine is wine in which the fermentation process has been stopped early by adding a distilled beverage, typically brandy. Adding brandy to a wine during its fermentation process kills the yeast cells, which were converting the wine's sugar into alcohol. Stopping the process before the yeasts have converted all the sugar makes the wine sweet. However, since the wine did not have time to convert all the sugar, the wine typically has lower alcohol content, so the added brandy serves doubly to also increase the wine's alcohol level.

Things You'll Need

  • Must (the juice from the grapes)
  • Cultured yeast
  • Brandy
  • Add the yeast to the must, speeding up the fermentation of the juice.

  • When the must has around 3-5% residual sugar, add brandy to the juice.

  • Drain the juice, removing the dead yeast.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although brandy is typically used, most spirits can be substituted.

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References

  • Karen MacNeil; The Wine Bible; 2001
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