Having worked a large part of my legal drinking life in the wine trade, I have never been able to take part in Dry Jan – so for me, there has always been the alternative route, which is either drinking less – which in my role is pretty impossible, or try lower alcohol wines!
Giving up alcohol is a bit like giving up smoking – when you give up smoking you crave food, a lot of food! With Alcohol, you generally crave sugar, and with this comes additional weight, and more cravings. So in my eyes, I think I’d rather keep enjoying the good stuff, but just lower the alcohol content, and there are a lot of amazing low alcohol wines on the market at the moment!
What is classed as low alcohol?
The average bottle of wine now-er days is between 12-14% ABV, so if you want the lovely rich flavours of wine but a lower alcohol content, you’ll love the low alcohol wine we have listed below. These low alcohol wines are all 11.5% ABV or below making them the perfect fit for your not so dry Jan! When you go to take a sip of these wines, don’t just chuck them back like you may have done trying to enjoy the office party in December, try and be mindful, indulge but enjoy at the same time! The low alcohol revolution is set to be the biggest drinks trend this year, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon now, and try some!
What is the best alcohol free wine?
The Badenhorst Ramnasgras fruit, red and white, is whole bunch-handled so no crushing or destemming takes place. The whites are transferred directly to old casks or into concrete tanks for fermentation and ageing. The red grapes are fermented in concrete tanks and open wooden kuipe. The post-fermentation maceration is lengthy – up to 4 months -where after the wines are put in a cask or 4000L foudres. No additions are done to the grapes other than sulfur before and after fermentation. At a mere 11%, this is your perfect partner for a low alcohol wine with serious quality!
Consistently among my favourite examples of this increasingly fashionable grape, Ramnasgras comes from a 1964 block on Adi Badenhorst’s farm. Zesty, aromatic and fine, with some whole bunch spice, a touch of pepper and sweet red cherry fruit. 2017-21′. – Tim Atkin report 2017
The style of wine is one of utter elegance and freshness, with superb intensity and grip which is paired to bright fruit on the palate. This Grüner is fermented and then aged in tank, left on the lees for seven months and then bottled in late spring. At a mere 11.5%
The Ebner Ebenauer Grüner has purity from the Weinviertel, with an intensity of spice and attractive aromas of ripe pear. Juicy apple fruit flavours come through on the palate, with white pepper and subtle mineral notes with crunchy fruit and vibrant acidity.
A blend of Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada this sustainably produced Cava is from a long-established winemaking family. The cellar is located in the centre of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia village (Barcelona) and is considered one of the five oldest and most traditional cellars still running in the Penedes region.
Bocchoris Brut Cava is a pale straw-yellow, with intense green apple, and patisserie aromas. The palate is soft and fresh with integrated acidity and crisp citrus and stone fruits on the finish. At only £14.50 a bottle and 11.5% in alcohol, this makes this wine the perfect solution for the low alcohol revolution.
The Testalonga is aromatic and laser-bright, like lemonade for grown-ups. A fresh, bright pet nat with a taste reminiscent of the freshest apples and peaches. Off-dry and far too smashable, it’s “like lemonade for grown-ups” and insanely tasty – from one of South Africa’s most exciting winemakers. Pair with: Almost anything! Perfect for your pool-side party in South Africa and the one day of summer in the UK. (One day!!)
At only 9.5% abv this is the ultimate low alcohol crowd pleaser!
The verdict on Low alcohol wines
The Pull The Cork safe bet for Dry January would be the Testalonga, it would definitely see you through Dry January and beyond – just keep dreaming of summer sun!