Written by
Alan Boatright

Cider vs Wine

Cider and wine are both alcoholic beverages that may look like they share the same qualities. You can understand the differences once you consume both these beverages.

There is an immense difference in the taste, and this is because of several reasons. To know why these two beverages share different qualities, you will have to understand their making process.

Cider vs Wine comparisons

The article focuses on the differences between cider and wine concerning their manufacturing process. This information helps people understand why both these drinks are so different even though they look the same.

This will also help in enhancing the drinking experience and which beverage you choose in the future.

Differences Between Cider and Wine

Fruits Used in The Making

Fruits Used in The Making

The first and obvious difference is the fruit that is used to make both these drinks. Cider and wine have no similarity when it comes to the usage of fruits for the manufacturing process. For making wine, grapes are used, and for cider, traditionally, apples are used.

This may not always stand true in current times since various fruits are being used for making these drinks. You may find a lot of ciders made from other fruits such as lime, strawberry, and grapes. On the other hand, some wines are made from apples. These wines will have a sharper taste than the one made from grapes.

Even though the fruits used may not be a very strong difference, we have gone for the traditional aspect. Since the beginning, cider and wine were made from apples and grapes, respectively, which we will be focusing on. However, you can find several fruit crossover examples present in the world when you search for these two alcoholic drinks.

The apple varieties also bring a change in the flavor of the drinks. While choosing the right drink, you will come across plenty of options with varying types of fruits.

Fermentation Process

Fermentation Process

One very weird difference between apple cider and wine is the fermentation process. In both drinks, the fruit used in the making is fermented for producing the beverage. However, the actual difference lies in the time required for the fermentation process of these fruits.

The apples used for ciders do not spend much time fermenting than the grapes used in wines. Since grapes take a lot of time fermenting, the drink has a very high alcohol content compared to ciders. Therefore, there is a difference in the production process of these drinks.

There may be variants in the production process, and that depends completely on the beverage producers. Some apple cider producers may opt for a longer fermentation process to alter the drink's taste. On the other hand, some wine producers may use different production techniques for making the drink. This way, different producers will have different types of the fermentation process.

You can also find some examples of drinks where co-fermentation has been used. This is when two or more fruit varieties are fermented together to produce an alcoholic drink. Co fermentation can be cone for both wine and hard cider production.

Alcohol Content

Alcohol Content

Another difference in these drinks is the difference in the fermentation process in the alcohol content. The general alcohol content for apple cider is somewhere around 5%. There may be some examples of ciders where the alcohol content may range up to 8% -9%. However, this is not the normal scenario, and these ciders are outliers.

Wines, on the other hand, have double-figure alcohol content. They tend to be on the high end, with the lower spectrum ranging around 11% to 12%. However, you will most commonly find wines that are somewhere between 13% and 15%. This also ropes in the factor of the serving size of these drinks.

One standard glass of wine will contain the same alcohol content as that of a cider pint. This means that one-third of a wine pint will give you the same alcoholic effect as a cider pint. Therefore, you cannot consume the same amount of wine as you would of cider. Wine consumption is generally lower as compared to cider; otherwise, it may have serious health implications.

Varieties in Drinks

Varieties in Drinks

Ciders are of two main types generally, and they are ciders and hard cider. Hard cider is the type where the apples are fermented, and carbonation is added. There may be a variety of flavors that are available for these two types of ciders. However, there are no major variations in the production process of apple cider and hard apple cider.

On the other hand, wine has variable production methods, which gives way to many different types of wine. The standard types are Rose, red made from grape skins, white wines made from non-colored pulp, and fortified and sparkling wines. You may also find some other types in current times when it comes to wine.

Just like ciders, you will find different varieties for each type of wine. There are hundreds of red wines, and this distinction is done based on the vintages and grapes used. Generally, wine lovers will find many different options to go for compared to cider lovers.

Sugar Content

Sugar Content

Another unique difference between the drinks is the sugar content present in them. This factor also is based on the fermentation technique adapted for these drinks. You will find a high amount of natural sugar in ciders as compared to wine. This difference is quite wide, which also impacts the taste of these drinks.

The sugar content in ciders will be around 6% to 15%, while the sugar content in wine may not ever exceed 2%. If you ever see that the sweetness content in wine is higher than this, it will be acknowledged as a sweeter variety than normal wine. This is where the taste difference lies in wine and cider.

Due to the presence of high alcohol content in wines, the taste is quite complex. It is even more complex than apple cider, despite cider having high sugar content than wine. That is why it is known that the length of fermentation brings a change in not just the alcohol content but also the sweetness content.

Fermentation needs sugar, so when a drink is fermented for a long time, its amount of sugar is more. Since wines are fermented for a longer period than ciders, they consume more sugar, and the final drink has low sugar content.

Difference Between Apple Wine and Apple Cider

Difference Between Apple Wine and Apple Cider

We have already mentioned above that even though traditional fruits used in wine and cider are grapes and apples; you may see other fruit varieties. Here we will answer the question of how apple wine and apple cider are different from each other.

When making cider, the apples are crushed and then put through fermentation. There are many different methods of doing this, but generally, it follows the same technique as making apple wine with just the key differences mentioned above.

The same goes for the apples used in making apple wine, with the fermentation being done for a longer time. There is also a high level of sugar consumption, which brings about a change in the drinks' alcohol level, taste, and look.

The hard apple cider's alcohol level is about 8%, while apple wine is about 12% - 14%. Moreover, there is sweetness in cider taste than apple wine with a slight bitterness due to the long fermentation.

Bottom Line – Cider vs Wine

If you are someone who loves their drink with something sweet in them, then the best option to go for is cider. The sugars present in the cider give it a high sweet flavor. However, there are fewer sugars present in wine which gives people a light, bitter taste. Many people do not like anything with sugars, and for them, wine is the first thing to look at.

Drinking wine and cider will give you different experiences. There are more than enough example of wine and cider for you to choose from. You can find many more types of categories of wine and cider that you can add to your collection.

To understand the major variations between wine and cider, you need to investigate their alcohol range and sweetness level. Moreover, the fact that the fermentation timing is different also creates the difference in these drinks.

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