If you’re looking for wines with lighter flavours or want to reduce your alcohol intake this summer, it’s worth looking at the category of lower-alcohol wines.
These typically run from 6%-11% and include wines both naturally low in alcohol as well as those that have had their ABV reduced.
Depending on style and grape variety, wines tend to have between 12-14% alcohol, however in recent years levels have been creeping up, partly because of climate change and also due to the growing trend for softer, more ripe wines.
But now that summer is here, lighter wines in body and colour, but also in alcohol, are looking more desirable. They’re great for parties and social occasions and are generally lower in calories – all without sacrificing on flavour.
Finding red wines below 12% can be tricky but not impossible with classic sources being cooler climate regions around the world. For white wines Germany, and in particular the Mosel, is a good starting point. Wines with less than 10% ABV are likely going to have an element of sweetness having had the fermentation stopped leaving the natural sweetness of the grapes in the resulting wine.
The following list comprises quality sparklings from Italy including Prosecco and Lambrusco, red wines from Washington and Swartland and a selection of dry and sweet white wines spanning Australia, England and Germany. A skin-contact aromatic orange wine worth seeking out also makes the list at 12%.