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Vin de liqueur

French name for a liqueur wine also called mistletoe or mistletoe (see Mistela). Pure alcohol (ethyl alcohol) or distillate(brandy) is added to a white or red grape must before or after a short fermentation, so that fermentation is not even started or stopped. Such wines have a very high residual sugar and alcohol content between 16% and 22% vol. The difference to a Vin doux naturel is that alcohol is added much earlier in the vinification process. Such wines are produced in a similar way in many places in France. In Languedoc this is the Cartagène, on the Rhône the RinQuinQuin and in Champagne the Ratafia. Vins de liqueur with classified appellation are Floc de Gascogne (Armagnac), Macvin du Jura (Jura), a version of Muscat de Frontignan (Languedoc) and Pineau des Charentes (Cognac). However, the lilac produced in Bordeaux (Kina Lillet) cannot be strictly speaking called vin de liqueur, as liqueur is added to a wine that has already been fermented.

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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