Low Alcohol Wine: Everything You Need to Know
What is low alcohol wine?
Low alcohol wine, as the name suggests, is wine with a reduced alcoholic content compared to regular wines. Typically, wines might range anywhere from 12% to 15% alcohol by volume (ABV), but low alcohol wines fall between the 0.5% to 10% ABV spectrum. Low alcohol wines allow you to enjoy the wine's nuanced flavor and aromatics without the pronounced effects of alcohol.
How is low alcohol wine made?
Low alcohol wines can be created using a few techniques. The first approach involves fermenting the juice for a shorter duration, ensuring that not all the sugars turn into alcohol. This will produce a sweet wine, since the sugars are not fermented away- they are still present in the wine. Alternatively, wines can be made conventionally, followed by a post-fermentation process to remove some of the alcohol. Techniques like reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation are used to achieve this while preserving the wine's essential flavors and characteristics. This process results in a wine that is lower in alcohol, but also has been highly processed and filtered, which tends to remove some of the unique character of the wine.
Our approach to low-alcohol wine
At Girl Meets Dirt, we treasure the age-old traditions of winemaking. Our low-alcohol wines embrace authenticity, drawing out the distinct terroir of the San Juan Islands. Recognizing the rising appeal of lighter wines, our crafting technique prioritizes the natural flavors of the fruit. Instead of using grapes, we use orchard fruit from small growers on Orcas Island. Our wines are made using traditional French winemaking techniques, but instead of grapes, we use apples, pears, plums, peaches, quince, and rhubarb. We pass on post-fermentation manipulations, but also avoid the pitfalls of making highly-sweet wine by low-fermenting it. The orchard fruits we are working with naturally have lower fermentable sugar contents than grapes do, meaning that we are able to achieve a fully dry flavor while also avoiding any processing of our wines.
This approach allows us to embody the essence of the fruit we use in our wine, resulting in bottles that are not only low on alcohol but abundant in taste and character.
Why drink low-alcohol wine?
There are many reasons to embrace low-alcohol wines. Reducing alcohol intake can be a conscious health decision. Low alcohol wines enable wine aficionados to relish the experience without heavy alcohol content.
Diminished alcohol can also allow the intricate flavors and aromas of the wine to emerge more distinctively. You can also savor multiple glasses without getting overly tipsy, ideal for leisurely lunches or brunches and picnics.
What should you pair with low alcohol wine?
With their refined and intricate flavors, low-alcohol wines harmonize beautifully with many dishes. Just like regular wines, low-alcohol wines can have a wide variety of flavor profiles. You should consider what kind of flavor profile your low-alcohol wine has when considering pairings- is it crisp and light? Consider pairing it with seafood, especially oysters, salad, grilled food, and pizza. Is it full-bodied and tannic? It can stand up to something a bit heavier and richer, like rich, creamy cheeses, pastas, or even red meat.
Low-alcohol wines carve out a niche for those eager to experience wine's pleasures in a lighter, yet nuanced manner. Whether motivated by lifestyle, health considerations, or sheer curiosity, these wines promise to be a delightful inclusion in your wine repertoire. At Girl Meets Dirt, our constant endeavor is to innovate and elevate the world of wines, and we warmly welcome you to embark on this flavor-rich journey with us.