Drinking a cup of wine has many health benefits, but consistently drinking wine with high alcohol content can be dangerous. Thankfully low alcohol wines are available if you're looking for a way to cut down on alcohol without cutting it out completely. But are low-alcohol wines a good option? Read on to find out.
What Should I Know About Low-Alcohol Wine?
Wines are considered low-alcohol if they fall under 14% for red wines and below 12% for rosé and white varieties. Wines that fall in the range of 12% to 13.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) are considered the most balanced in alcohol, sweetness, and dryness. Wines with too low ABV may lack natural balance and likely contain some unfermented residual sugar. Anything more than 15% ABV is a high alcohol content wine.
There are some wines that are produced specifically to appeal to wine drinkers who want to limit their alcohol intake. These wines can feature ABVs as low as 7%. That's roughly equivalent to a very strong beer. There are a few ways to achieve these low alcohol levels in wine. Both methods start with the production of ordinary wine. Then they employ ways to remove the alcohol produced during fermentation.
One method is called reverse osmosis. With reverse osmosis, the wine can be split into its various parts. You can pull the alcohol away from the rest of the liquid and remove some of it. The rest of the alcohol can then be blended back in with the wine. This allows the winemaker to produce a good quality wine with much less alcohol than is normal.
Is Low Alcohol Wine Very Sweet?
A low alcohol wine goes through the same winemaking process as its boozy counterparts. In winemaking, the sugar in the grapes is converted to alcohol in the wine, and any sugar left will determine the sweetness of the wine. This means that low alcohol wines are often sweet or off-dry, while higher alcohol wines contain more intense flavors.
Does Lower Alcohol Impact The Quality Of The Wine?
No. The final flavor aroma, taste, and complexity of any wine is dependent on factors like the grape used and the choices made during production. In general. a low alcohol wine will be sweet because the sugar in the grape is converted into alcohol while the remaining is left as residual sugar in the wine. While alcohol levels certainly impact the taste, texture, and effects of wine, they don't determine quality. So, low alcohol does not affect the quality of the wine. You can have a great bottle of wine regardless of the ABV.
How Popular Are Low Alcohol Wines
The world market for low alcohol wine is growing, particularly among young adults. Even though wine can range from 7% to 22% in alcohol, most of the wine made in the United States now averages 12% to 15% ABV. Lighter wines such as Rieslings, Rosés, and Vinho Verdes and sparkling and Champagne wines now have lower alcohol content.
Which Wineries Are Producing The Best Low Alcohol Wine?
There is a world of low alcohol wines to enjoy whether you are watching your alcohol intake or looking for the ideal mid-week treat. Want something a little lighter to drink? Here are just a few producers in the United States making wines in a lower alcohol style: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, Barbera, and more.
Why Low Alcohol Wine Is A Good Option
There are many reasons why consuming low alcohol wine is good. Firstly, the more the percentage of alcohol in the wine, the more calories the wine has per glass. So drinking low alcohol wine means consuming fewer calories.
Also, wines are made to be appreciated and savored. Too much alcohol dulls the senses and the tongue and prevents you from enjoying the wine. In fact, you may end up passing out on the sofa after a couple of glasses. Low alcohol means that you can get away with more wine and what it has to offer. You skip the hangover or the dehydration yet still enjoy the bottle.
How To Shop For Low Alcohol Wine
In the United States, buying low alcohol wines is simple. All wines sold contain details of ABV percentage on their labels that you can check. We recommend seeking out wines that are 13.5% and under if you need low alcohol wines. A few wines to check out that have low ABV's:
Best Low Alcohol White Wines
- 2019 #TBT Chardonnay: This wine has the tasting notes of apple, lychee, lemon, pineapple- ABV 12.8%
- 2019 Loves Me Not White Blend: This wine has the tasting notes of citrus, white peach, and flowers - ABV 12.7%
- 2020 Point de Passage Sauvignon Blanc: This wine has the tasting notes of green apple, lemon, white peach, and wet stone- ABV 12.5%
- 2020 Outer Sounds Sauvignon Blanc: This wine has the tasting notes of gooseberry, pineapple, and guava, lime- ABV 12.6%
Best Low Alcohol Rose Wines
- 2019 Rebanada De Vida Rosé: This wine has tasting notes of citrus, peach ring, rose, strawberry- ABV 12.5%
- 2020 Loves Me Not Rosé: This wine has tasting notes of lime, strawberry, rose, and watermelon- ABV 12.5%
- 2020 Cocomero Rosé: This wine has the tasting notes of lime, cranberry, watermelon, and wet stone- ABV 12.6%
- Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rose: This wine is light and refreshing, with deliciously bright fruit flavors- ABV 11.5%
Best Low Alcohol Red Wines
- Chateau De Costis Bordeaux: This wine has the tasting notes of raspberry, oak, cherry, chocolate, and leather- ABV 12%
- Decoy California Red Wine: This wine is rich and concentrated and displays alluring layers of ripe and juicy berry flavors- ABV 13.5%
- San Felice Chianti Classico: This wine has the tasting notes of luminous ruby red. Raspberry, sweet violets, and scents of cherry- ABV 13%
- Allegrini Valpolicella: This wine has the tasting notes of black cherry, black pepper, and cinnamon- ABV 13.38%
Best Low Alcohol Sparkling Wines
- Ameztoi Txakolina: This wine is dry and light-bodied with mineral-driven fruit and aromas of lemon and grapefruit- ABV 10.5%
- D. Vajra Moscato D'Asti: This wine has catchy scents of yellow fruits like apricot, peach, and citrus- ABV 5.5%
- Valdobbiadene Prosecco Rustico: This wine has bright aromas of fruity, crisp, and flowery notes. It's creamy, refreshing, and balanced on the palate- ABV 11%
- La Marca Prosecco: This win has fresh-picked citrus and honeysuckle blossoms aromas. The crisp alate brings fruity notes of green apple, ripe lemon, and juicy peach- ABV 11%
As you can see, the alcohol percentage in wine doesn't have to be high to be outstanding. With low alcohol wines, you can still enjoy a glass of something tasty without the headiness, even if you're cutting back on alcohol. So whatever your tastes, there are low alcohol wines option out there for everyone.