Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is a "fruit bomb" wine analogous with high alcohol content?
—Oscar, Diamond Bar, Calif.
Not exactly. The term "fruit bomb" refers to a wine (usually red, usually New World) that emphasizes lush, ripe or jammy fruit flavors. "Fruit bomb" is also used as a slam for wines in this style that are unbalanced or overextracted, suggesting that these ripe fruit flavors come at the expense of structure and balance. It's true that to make a fruit bomb, grapes can be left on the vine longer to get riper flavors, and that this can result in softer acidity and higher alcohol. But not every high-alcohol wine is a fruit bomb, and not every fruit bomb has high alcohol, or sacrifices balance or structure for fruit flavors. Some wines (and some grapes) are just naturally "fruit-bombier" than others.
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