At the end of the day there is nothing better than winding down with a glass of wine. So let’s look into low alcohol wine and see why it is good for your health.

If you have visited a wine bar or hotel, you might have noticed that the size of these glasses has increased by as much as 50 per cent in volume. So what, you might say, but this is a cause for concern.

It is obvious why this is happening – to boost sales and increase profits for businesses, possibly struggling in difficult times. The introduction of these large wine glasses, especially in pubs and wine bars, is no doubt great for business, but it’s not great for your health.

I’m sure many consumers agree, and can’t see what the fuss is about. While the contents of one bottle will fit into perhaps just four glasses instead of the usual six, are these producers and vendors swaying away from a moral responsibility? Some will say yes they are, others, absolutely not. This is where there is room for a low alcohol version.

As the glass size grows, the volume of wine obviously increases, which leads to a rise in the alcohol content volumetrically. You don’t have to be clever to be aware that you will now be taking in more alcohol than before, your reactions will be slower. This is not a kill-joy attitude, but if you are the driver of a vehicle, you may not realise that you are over the legal limit for driving, as you have only had ‘one glass’.

Being aware of the situation in the first place is key, and knowing more about which wines are more likely to be those high alcohol heavyweights, and from what countries to expect them from.

Global warming is happening, whether you agree or not, makes little difference. Grapes are getting riper quicker, and it can be a real dilemma for winegrowers as to when the crop should be harvested.

This is what they are faced with:

  • Picking the grapes too early (when [sugars = potential alcohol] are lower) will ensure a higher acid content, which will lead to an unbalanced wine that could be lacklustre and harsh. Often this is the preferred alternative provided the grapes are clean and ripe.
  • Harvest too late, and the winegrower could have good low acid levels, but very high sugars – which of course convert in to extremely high alcohols. Also, low acid means that the wine will not age as well.
  • Get it right – not always as easy as it sounds as the acid/sugar balance must be ideal for the style of wine being made. The weather may not be kind, (i.e. too much sun or rain; diseases may be prevalent). We don’t want a flabby, blockbuster of a wine just as much as we don’t want an acidic lightweight.

Each vintage is different, especially from a viticultural point of view, and that’s what makes winemaking such an interesting art.

Remember, just because you may be faced with a low alcohol wine in the store or supermarket, does not mean that that it is inferior in any way, only it doesn’t pack in the punch so much as to leave you legless after a few glasses.

Drinking in moderation of any strength of alcohol is the recommendation, and it is YOUR health you are aiming to look after, therefore low alcohol wine is good for your health.

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