Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Low Alcohol Wine

Many people start the year with Dry January, and many wine lovers suggest Try January instead, which is an opportunity to try something you might not normally drink. Others prefer the Drink Less Drink Better motto. I think I will carry on drinking as normal, as I do have to taste a lot of wines to curate amazing yet affordable wine lists for my pop up wine bars, but I have taken this opportunity to try some low alcohol wines, and here are my top choices...

By law, low alcohol wine has up to 11% for whites and up to 12% for reds. So I started with Riesling, which often has a lower alcohol content because the sugars in the wine have not been fully fermented, resulting in a sweeter and lower alcohol wine. The great thing about Reisling is it has high acidity, so even though both these wines are off-dry, the acidity balances them well.

Another low alcohol wine, which is a personal favourite of mine, is Oaken Grove Benham Blush at 11%. A great tasting fruity rose. Also available from Waitrose for £11.49, or buy direct for £50 for six bottles.

I also found a fantastic light Sauvignon Blanc from Laithwaites for £12.49 called Stonewall which is only 9.5% (my mum drinks it because she often gets a reaction to wine, but doesn't with this one)

Then I thought I would try a dealcoholised Muscat that was recommended by a wine journalist friend of mine, called Natureo by Torres, which is only 0.5% alcohol and sells for £5.99 at Waitrose. It's not bad tasting, but you can definitely tell its missing the punch from alcohol.

I haven't found any decent red wines that are 12% or less - let me know if you do!

Personally, if I'm going to be drinking wine, I don't want to be restricted by alcohol content, so if I was going to do cut down my alcohol intake, I would go for something completely different, like a savoury soft drink. It's pretty pricey but I love the two Seedlip drinks (Garden or Spice), you mix them with tonic or soda so the gin-looking bottle lasts a long time, and they are delicious savoury soft drinks. Buy from Ocado for £27.99.

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