Aldi launched two of it’s Featherweight wines across Ireland yesterday. The idea is that low alcohol (5.5%) reduces the calories per bottle versus a standard bottle of wine.
A 12% vol would be between 90 and 120 cals per 125ml while the Featherweights are a mere 52cals. That’s impressive. They sell at a simple €4.49 per bottle and currently we have a Pinot Grigio and a White Zinfandel.
Aldi tells us that:
Featherweight Italian Pinot Grigio includes the finest Italian grapes and features a typical straw yellow colour. The wine has fresh, crisp citrus notes with white peach aromas, as well as a full flavour with lasting finish. At only 5.5% ABV, it pairs beautifully with a light salad or seafood dish. Per 125ml serving, it contains just 52 calories.
Featherweight White Zinfandel is an expertly crafted blend using Californian White Zinfandel grapes, with a beautifully natural, vibrant pink colour and luscious, fresh strawberry aromas. The wine has a lively and full flavour of fruit juices. At only 5.5% ABV, it is the perfect aperitif and a great companion to fruity desserts. Per 125ml serving, the wine contains just 57 calories.
I haven’t tried either of these yet but when I do I’ll let you know what I think. They look promising and I’m a sucker for a good name …..
Do low alc wines ‘work’? In general the answer is no, they don’t. This is mainly down to the fact that ( besides calories..) alcohol adds a sort of glycerine feel and added weight to the taste profile. Without these many low alcs taste light and lacking substance.
That said, (there’s always a BUT …) lowER alcohol wines are worth their weight in gold.
Most people can’t enjoy wines that are have high alcohol levels. Besides, many of these are positively bad for your health – after a few glasses! (High is in excess of 13.5%vol ….)
I was fascinated by a discussion I had with Sam Forrest of Forrest Wines in Marlborough NZ at a JN Wines tasting last year. Sam was showing his ‘Doctors Sauvignon Blanc 2016‘. It’s only 9.5%vol and made from grapes that have fully ripened. His family, it seems, has pioneered a way to Grow Less Alcohol by working with the vines’ secondary foliage growth. Sugar accumulation is reduced but everything ripens up fine. Or so I’m told …. Oh, Forrest Wines are quite simply exquisite ….
Of course there are quite a few low alcohol wines on our shelves already. None have ‘taken off’. I wonder is it because they are low alcohol or is it because we just know they are there?