Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

density, a measurement of the concentration of matter in units of mass per unit volume. In wine it is usually expressed as g/cc, and occasionally as g/ml, at 20 °C/68 °F (which must be specified since wine’s mass per unit volume decreases as its temperature increases). Wine is an interesting mixture because it contains dissolved solids (sugars, acids, phenolics, and mineral salts) which increase its density above that of pure water, but it also contains alcohol, which is less dense than water. The result is that very dry wines can have densities near 0.9 g/cc while very sweet wines that are low in alcohol (such as some Italian moscato, for example) can have densities around 1.03 g/cc.