Wine is a dinner staple in many families around the world, but like many good things in life, it has some downsides. For one, wine is particularly high in calories and alcohol (at least compared to mass-market options like pale beers and spiked sodas).
But light wines, including those that are low in sugar, calories, and ABV (or even no alcohol at all), exist, so you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or quality in every sip.In fact, winemakers have found clever ways to preserve the expressiveness and character of their wines – a win-win for the wine real Masters of grapes who understand and appreciate the multidimensionality of gulp palate complexity.
To answer all your burning questions about what makes a place in the nearly $600 billion industry, we dug into the brains of some wine experts and professionals for their thoughts on the growing trend of light and low-calorie wines.
The first important thing is to distinguish the difference between light and low-calorie wines. The former technically refers to any “light-bodied” wine below 12.5% alcohol.
Due to the demand for “light” options, it is now common to hear the term “light wine,” which also refers to bottles that are lower in calories, carbohydrates, sugar, and/or alcohol. Keep in mind that this double meaning has not been the case in the past, which annoys many sommeliers. So you might hear them refer to these varieties as “healthier” or “diet-friendly” wines, which may not be entirely accurate from a nutritionist’s perspective.
It’s also important to note that lighter wines may not technically be wines at all.
Rachel Thralls, Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator, said: “Low and no-alcohol wines are a bit of a paradox because legally, unless specifically exempted, ‘wine’ should contain at least 8% alcohol, which is not Exist.” Sonoma County Grape Growers.
“Many people who love wine don’t want to drink a high-alcohol bottle every night—they want choices that complement their food and lifestyle without making them feel the effects of too much alcohol,” says Sonoma’s Virginie Boone – Wine writers, critics and authors good stuff Pillar.
“Over the past five years or so, we’ve seen consumers become more and more health-conscious about the food they eat,” he said. “Long-term dietary trends in these foods have extended to alcoholic beverages, with wine drinkers looking for wines that are lower in calories, carbohydrates and sugar.”
As a result, varieties not only have the aforementioned lower calories, carbohydrates and sugars, but also have a low ABV of zero, so consumers — especially millennials — can socialize without sacrificing healthier lifestyle choices.
One of the most important elements of “healthier” winemaking (at least from a winemaker’s perspective) is reducing calories and/or alcohol while maintaining the integrity of the grapes. Of course, you can mechanically remove sugar from wine, but it may produce a sour, almost medicinal taste that doesn’t bear any resemblance to real wine.
Overall, the most efficient way to produce low-sugar wines seems to be picking grapes too early.
“One of the most natural ways to reduce sugar and alcohol in wine is to harvest grapes with a lower Brix. Brix must measure the level of (sugar) in wine grapes, which ultimately determines the alcohol content of the wine,” Sono According to Karissa Kruse, president of the Ma County Wine Growers Association. “The lower the Brix level, the lower the calories and sugar in the wine while maintaining the flavor and acidity.”
“We choose cooler vineyards that have good flavor development at naturally lower sugar levels,” added Will Wiles, senior director of winemaking at Ste. Michelle Wine Estate. “This combination produces low alcohol and low calorie wines without intervention. Many popular ‘better for you’ wines reduce alcohol content by removing alcohol through filtration methods, which can affect character, complexity and Flavor has a negative impact. Starting from the vineyard sounds simple, but we truly believe it produces the best wines.”
While wine is not legally required to have an ingredient list on nutrition labels, watch out for imposters masquerading as clever marketing.
“Just as Cheez Whiz isn’t real cheese, some brands in this category aren’t real wine at all,” Baker said. “They’re processed drinks made by adding water and alcohol to a bunch of flavors and additives.”
Look for brands that include nutrition and ingredient information on the bottle, advises Wiles. “A lot of brands are proactive and transparent because consumers are expecting it more and more. It makes sense that when you understand what you’re spending, you can have confidence in the choices you make.”
While this may seem simple, the first attribute you’re looking for is a product made from fermented grapes. Shockingly, this isn’t always the case with many mainstream brands that are chock full of artificial flavors and alcohol that isn’t even from fruit.
Now that you know all about the low-calorie stuff, here are the experts’ light wine advice:
“Besides the Liquid Light wines (which feature early harvest grapes and nutrition labels on cans), I really like Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling from Washington State. It’s a dry, refreshing Riesling, With beautiful fruit flavors and refreshing acidity. It also happens to be a low alcohol and low calorie wine. Also from St. Castle. Michelle, Elements Peach Ginger White Blend contains no added sugar and is under 100 calories per glass. This A decadent white wine with flavors of fresh ripe peaches and just the right amount of ginger spice. Both are great choices in Washington State and fall into the ‘better for you’ category.”
“The most exciting low-alcohol wine I’ve had recently comes from a producer called Libby, which focuses on sustainably grown, California-grown sparkling wines that are lower in calories and alcohol. They’re capped with a crown Bottled to make very nice white, pink and red versions.Other producers worth looking for in Sonoma County include Cruise Wine Company, Keewellstadt Cellars and Scribe Winery, but there are also many dedicated For light-style wines.”