Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Does wine have enough alcohol to be used for sanitizing?
—Francis, Canton, Ohio
Wine has many wonderful qualities, but sanitizing is not one of them.
I understand that the current health worries mean that sanitizer is in low supply, and people are looking for DIY sanitizer recipes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol to eradicate germs. Most wines hover around 12 to 17 percent alcohol. Fortified wines like Port and Sherry can get up to 20 or 22 percent, which is still far short of sanitizer levels.
If you’re intent on a homemade sanitizer, you’ll find plenty of recipes online; most of them start with isopropyl alcohol (99 percent alcohol), often mixed with aloe vera gel to keep it from drying out your skin.