Chances are yes. At least, according to a paper published in the Journal of Wine Economics this month.
The authors, from the US and Canada wanted to address the topic that the alcohol content of wine is increasing and to see if this is correlated with, among other factors, climate fluctuations.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which imports all the wine for the Canadian state, also tests all the wine for factors such as alcohol content. Using the data collected between 1992 and 2009 the researchers found that temperature fluctuations did not account for the changing alcohol content.
What they did find, was that many of the alcohol contents were reported lower than they really are, with an average error of 0.4%. Although that does not sound like a lot, the authors point out that this could lead to people underestimating the amount of alcohol they have consumed. This could have implications for those keeping an eye on their blood alcohol levels.
They state that the error could be from the method used to measure the alcohol or they speculate that it could be desirable for wine makers to understate their alcohol content. If it was due to measurement errors, they should have run their samples in our Qfood Quantos.
I wonder if the same problem exists for Cava and Champagne? I would like to take this opportunity to volunteer to carry out a very thorough test with many various samples. Possibly starting around midnight tonight….
Happy New Year everyone!