The supervision of key variables such as sugar, alcohol, released CO2 and microbiological evolution in fermenting grape must is of great importance in the winemaking industry. However, the fermentation kinetics is assessed by monitoring the evolution of the density as it varies during a fermentation, since density is an indicator of the total amount of sugars, ethanol and glycerol. Even so, supervising the fermentation process is an awkward and non-comprehensive task, especially in wine cellars where production rates are massive, and enologists usually measure the density of the extracted samples from each fermentation tank manually twice a day. This work aims at the design of a fast, low-cost, portable and reliable optoelectronic sensor for measuring ethanol concentration in fermenting grape must samples. Different sets of model solutions, which contain ethanol, fructose, glucose, glycerol dissolved in water and emulate the grape must composition at different stages of the fermentation, were prepared both for calibration and validation. The absorption characteristics of these model solutions were analyzed by a commercial spectrophotometer in the NIR region, in order to identify key wavelengths from which valuable information regarding the sample composition can be extracted. Finally, a customized optoelectronic prototype based on absorbance measurements at two wavelengths belonging to the NIR region was designed, fabricated and successfully tested. The system, whose optoelectronics is reduced after a thorough analysis to only two LED lamps and their corresponding paired photodiodes operating at 1.2 and 1.3 μm respectively, calculates the ethanol content by a multiple linear regression.