Definition - What does Hot mean?

Hot is a term used in wine-making that denotes the excessive use or high percentage of alcohol in a wine. The term is mostly associated with unbalanced or defective wines that tend to burn on the finish.

WineFrog explains Hot

Often confused with it's general meaning, the term "hot" has nothing to do with the actual temperature of the wine in any way. It only refers to the alcohol content present in a wine and is reserved for wines with a high alcohol content percentage.

Hot wines are unique and tend leave a burning sensation on the palate and back of the throat when swallowed. Upon opening a hot wine, you'll notice that it presents an intense alcohol aroma, similar to that of hard spirits. This intensity is experienced throughout the tasting phase and is usually toned down by the sweetness of the fruit used to make it.

Wines with alcohol percentages in excess of 14.5% often taste hot and are more suited towards port-style and sherry wines.

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