Lower Alcohol Wines for January
It’s the time of the year when we all take stock of our health, which for some of us includes reducing intake - of sugar, of fat, and yes, even of alcohol. Dry January is an extreme approach, but we argue that a healthier practice would be to find moderation and take in less alcohol, not no alcohol. With that in mind, a starting point may be to have a stash of lower alcohol wines for you to open whenever you're looking to limit your intake throughout the year.
Three great Lower Alcohol Wines for your Cellar
The first fine wines with a low alcohol level we look to are German Rieslings. In particular, look for Kabinett, Spätlese or Auslese on the label. These wines contain less alcohol because the fermentation was stopped before the yeast consumed all the sugar during production. Therefore, they will likely be somewhat sweet to varying degrees. The Kabinett will be the least sweet, possibly even dry. This expression from Egon Muller has only 9% alcohol and is a delicious, refreshing wine with white peach and herbal aromas.
The next of today's lower alcohol wines - which is a step up in sweetness - is Donnhoff's Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Auslese, though it too will be perfectly balanced by mouthwatering acidity. Ausleses with low alcohol levels will almost certainly be at least semi-sweet and possibly will show signs of botrytis. Aromas of marmalade, ginger and honey are telltale signs of noble rot. This top Auslese from one of the Nahe region's most sought-after producers comes in at 9% alcohol and is rich, concentrated and has a wonderful smoky minerality.
If you don’t mind drinking a full-on dessert wine, Tokaj Essencia is exceptionally low in alcohol. This Hungarian sweet wine is made solely of Aszú, or botrytis affected grapes. It’s a luscious treat that won’t give you too much of a buzz (it's only 8.5% alcohol), but its richness can fulfill your desire for both dessert and a drink without having to consume too much of it, providing there's built-in moderation! Drinking a small amount of it could just be a New Year’s resolution you can stick to. Expect delicious floral, caramel and smoke aromas.
We hope you're having a great 2022 so far and that you're standing firm with your New Year's resolutions. We wanted to share the above wines with you as we feel they're a great way to reduce your alcohol intake, without compromising on flavor or quality.