Turning wine into water

I was watching Troy with somebody who happens to know a lot of useless things (his words, not mine). The Trojans and the Greeks were having a feast and he mentioned that they used to dilute their wine.

So we read into it. The natural max alcohol content in wine is 15%. Apparently, the Greeks used to dilute it up to 9:1, as in 9 parts water, 1 part wine!

I decided to try it with a 13% Montepulciano to get that full-bodied Mediterranean taste that opens sweet and ends earthy. We decanted it for an hour.

diluting wine with water
50 ml wine in each, 2:1, 1:1, pure

As a baseline, it was rich, sweet, with an astringent end-note.

At 1:1 (1 part water, 1 part wine), it was very sour with the astringent aftertaste.

At 2:1, it was sour, like pink grapefruit juice, the astringent aftertaste was lighter.

At 4:1, it was like lemon water with a mind astringent end-note. Sort of refreshing.

At 6:1, I couldn’t tell there was alcohol in it.

I don’t think I will be trying it with red again. I think white will come out more with the dilution.


On a scale of 0 to Christmas, how much alcohol do you drink?

December is a month when people drink a lot.

Ireland and Russia are countries where people drink a lot.

These two things have a multiplicative effect. So just for my own information I decided I would track how much alcohol I drink in December. Then I gathered it would be nice to share my method.

You can go though life thinking that you only have the odd drink, but then you look at this calendar and realise that drinking a glass of wine on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and a cocktail at a Sunday brunch means you drink most of the time!

I made 2 versions. Download, print, colour in. Or indeed write in the number of units…

December Alcohol Tracker Wine

PDF: December Alcohol Tracker

December Alcohol Tracker

PDF: December Alcohol Tracker 2