What’s the difference between wine and beer? Although the two most popular fermented drinks in the world look nothing alike, they share more similarities than you think.
And this is not just a beer vs wine kind of situation, but an in-depth comparison between the two much-loved drinks. The difference between wine and beer might be obvious, but you might be surprised.
Let’s explore these two beautiful beverages and learn a bit more about them. After all, the more you know about your favorite drinks, the more you enjoy them!
The Wine Scene
People make wine in over seventy countries, with hundreds of grapes and in a dozen different styles. Wine-producing countries thrive in the northern and southern hemispheres, in the “wine belt” loosely between the latitudes 30° and 50°. Only here are the conditions right to grow wine grapes.
The wine market is quite noble. You can find inexpensive bottles of wine for just a few bucks and authentic collector pieces going for thousands, and, more often than not, you get what you pay for.
Wineries can be small, family-owned estates or giant corporations. Still, the best wines always have something in common. They have a sense of place or “terroir.”
Main Wine Styles
The most common wine styles are red, white, rosé, sparkling and sweet. Of course, not all red wines are equally robust, and they can offer a wide range of scents, flavors and textures.
White wine doesn’t taste the same way every time, either. Some white wines are creamy and others are refreshing, some smell like apples, and others like ripe pineapples. The sky’s the limit!
Pink wine or rosé tends to be right between white and red wines in flavor, aroma and texture, while sparkling wine and dessert wines are specialties with their own styles. Yes, wine is a complex beverage.
The Beer Scene
Although you’ll find the more traditional beer-producing countries north and south of the wine belt, where people can’t rely on grapes, every country in the world makes some kind of beer — including wine-producing countries.
Beer is often less expensive than wine, but the most complex beers, sometimes aged in barrels and brewed with highly specific methods, call for a premium.
A few international companies dominate the global beer market, but the best beers come from small, independent breweries specializing in small-batch craft beer. Some of the most spectacular beers might even be seasonal, and they can be onetime offerings.
Main Beer Styles
You can find a few dozen beer styles within these two major categories, ranging from blond ales to robust stouts and everything in between. The color, aromatic range and mouthfeel vary widely between any two beers. However, the most commercial examples are the least interesting.
New beer styles see the light every day, as the brewing community is highly creative, and innovation is a synonym for the modern craft beer scene.
The Difference Between Wine and Beer
One of the fundamental differences between wine and beer is their alcoholic strength, but it might be deceiving. Most wine is bottled with an ABV between 10%-14%, but you can find examples with as low as 7% ABV and as alcoholic as 16%. Then you have fortified wines, which can have much more alcoholic strength. A typical ABV for beer ranges from 4% to 6%, but you’ll find rare beers with more than 9% ABV.
The most significant difference between wine and beer is the ingredients used. Wine is fermented grape juice, although some additives are allowed. Beer is made with malted barley, and some beer styles call for other grains, including wheat and corn.
Yeast is responsible for both wine and beer. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most common strain, and it’s used to make wine and ale beers. Lager beers are made with their own yeast, Saccharomyces pastorianus.
Wine and beer can taste and smell differently depending on the ingredients and process. Still, a critical difference between the two beverages is that wine is acidic, and beer rarely is. It’s acidity that makes wine more compatible with food than beer!
Wine vs Beer; Why Choose?
Yes, wine and beer share traits, but they’re entirely different beverages. Whether you’re a wine drinker or a beer enthusiast, there’s no doubt you can find pleasure in both fermented drinks.
There’s a wine style for every occasion and food pairing, and we can say the same thing about beer. Both drinks are incredibly diverse! And now that you know the difference between wine and beer, you can choose the right one every time. Fermentation can genuinely turn a wide range of ordinary ingredients into magical beverages — wine and beer are just the beginning!
Best Wine Pairings For Lasagna: A Quick Guide
What are the best wine pairings for lasagna? Try these ideas with our quick guide and make your experience around the table enjoyable!
My Wine Fridge is Not Cooling: How To Fix it
Is your wine chiller not cooling your wines properly? Learn how to identify the problem so that you can fix your faulty wine fridge.
Wine Etiquette: How to Tip Your Wine Sommelier
Do you sometimes wonder how to tip a sommelier? Follow these wine etiquette advice to have an enjoyable experience!
Why You Need to Buy a Charcoal Filter for Your Cellar
Do you need a charcoal filter for your wine cellar? The answer is, yes. And this guide reveals the reason why.
How To Open A Corked Wine Bottle
Unlike screw-caps, corked wine bottles can be a little trickier to open. If you are a beginner, this guide shows you the steps!
How to Become a Wine Connoisseur
Interested to take your wine knowledge to the next level? Curious about wine certifications? Here's how to become a wine connoisseur!