Difference between Wine and Whisky

Key difference: Whisky is generally made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, buckwheat and corn. Wine, on the other hand, is made from grapes. Not only is the production process of wine and whiskey different, the alcohol content of the wine is also much less than that of whisky.

Wine and Whisky are two different types of alcoholic beverages. The main difference between them is in regard to the ingredients used to make them, the processes through which they are made, and the amount of alcohol they contain.

Whisky is generally made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, buckwheat and corn. The barley or other base ingredient is first malted. In this the barley is made wet and spread on the malting floor to allow the germination process to start. This allows the starch to change into sugar, which will eventually turn into alcohol. To end the germination, the barley is dried in a kiln. When the malt is dry, it is grinded to make a kind of coarse flour, called grist.

The grist is then mixed with hot water in the mash tun. Generally one volume of grist is mixed up with 4 volumes of water. This will change the starch into fermenting sugars. This sugared juice is called wort. The remainders will be brewed 3 to 4 times, in order to get the maximum wort. The yeast is then added to the wort and left to ferment. After fermentation, the whiskey is then distilled. After distillation, the whiskey is then aged, most often in charred oak barrels. After aging it is bottled and sold.

Whiskies can be classified as:

  • Single malt whisky: is whisky that is from a single distillery and is made from a mash that uses only one particular type of malted grain.
  • Blended malt whisky: is a blend of different malt whiskies from different distilleries.
  • Blended whiskies: is whiskey that is made from a mixture of malt and grain whiskies along with neutral spirits, caramel, and flavoring.
  • Cask strength: These whiskies are bottled directly from the cask and are undiluted or only a little diluted. These are rare whiskies.
  • Single cask: Each bottle of a single barrel whiskey is from an individual cask with the cask number labeled on the bottle.

The alcohol content and mash content of the whiskey varies depending on the regulations of the geographic region. However, it usually contains between 40-50% alcohol content. Still, it can be made to contain up to 96% alcohol.

Wine, on the other hand, is made from grapes. For all purposes, most people categorize wine into two types, red and white.

Red wine is made from black grapes, while white wine is made from white grapes or the juice of black grapes. Grapes are rarely black or white, rather white grapes refer to lighter-skinned grapes that can be green, yellow-green, gold or light-orange. Blank grapes refer to grapes with a red or blue tint, and range from light ruby to a deep indigo.

The process of production differs little in the case of red or white wine. Grapes are crushed into a machine, fermented and then stored for a period of time. White wines contain little or no red pigmentation. This is mainly because it is made from white grapes. Some white wines, such as Champagnes, are also made from black grapes. However, they use only the juice of the grapes, discarding the pigmented skin and pulp. White wines are known to have a sweet or dry taste, or somewhere in between.

Not only is the production process of wine and whiskey different, the alcohol content of the wine is also much less than that of whisky. Natural wines can contain a broad range of alcohol content, from below 9% to above 16% ABV, with most wines being in the 12.5%–14.5% range. Fortified wines, such as brandy may contain 20% alcohol or more.

Comparison between Wine and Whisky:

 

Wine

Whisky

Definition

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits.

Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash.

Ingredients

Made from grapes

Can be made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, buckwheat and corn.

Production Process

Grapes are crushed into a machine, fermented and then stored for a period of time.

Barley (or other base product) is first malted

Alcohol Content

Natural wines may exhibit a broad range of alcohol content, from below 9% to above 16% ABV, with most wines being in the 12.5%–14.5% range. Fortified wines (usually with brandy) may contain 20% alcohol or more.

Usually contains between 40-50% alcohol, however, it can be made to contain up to 96% alcohol.

Types

Red Wine, White Wine, Champagne, etc.

Single malt whisky, Blended malt whisky, Blended whiskies, Cask strength, Single cask, etc.

Produced in

Italy, France, Spain, America, Argentina, Chile, China, India, etc.

Scotland, England, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, India,  Denmark, Germany, etc.

Image Courtesy: thedistilledlife.com, wineat79.com

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