Not so Dry-January
We have heard the term Dry January many times and even though it is just a month and has many health benefits, it is not the only option for consuming less wine in the new year. Also controlling your intake has much more benefits than abstaining for a month and bingeing the following one.
Our first recommendation for those who wish to be able to enjoy wine, even on a daily basis but not having to drink a full bottle is; to get yourself a Coravin.
Coravin allows you to enjoy a glass without actually opening the bottle, excessing the bottle via the cork using a surgical grape needle. Since the bottle is never opened, oxygen never enters into contact with the wine, thus you are able to keep the bottle for months and even years.
Our second recommendation is wines with fewer calories. If the reason for your wine restriction is diet or weight loss related, you can opt for wines with fewer calories. Now, this can be quite challenging as wines do not come with nutritional information like other food products, with the calories, sugars and other info on the back label. So how can this be simplified? Less alcohol means fewer calories and dry wines also have fewer sugars than sweet wines hence, fewer calories too.
A wine like Moscato d’ Asti is low in alcohol but high in sugars and thus higher in calories. Wines from cooler climates like Burgundy and Piedmont tend to be lower in alcohol and wines from warmer climates like the Languedoc tend to be higher.
If you love your whites even in the colder months, two wines I recommend are Albert Bichot Chablis from Burgundy in France and Marco Bonfante Gavi di Gavi from Piedmont in Italy. The calories for a 150ml glass should be between 100 to 110. The vintage and global warming also place a challenge for lower alcohol since on a warm vintage the alcohol will be higher so try to go for ones that are around 12% alcohol.
For red wine lovers, the logic doesn’t change. Our recommendations are Moillard Macon Rouge from Burgundy in France and Cantina Terlano Lagrein from the Trentino-Alto-Adige region in Italy. The wines should have around 120 to 125 calories per 150ml.
If you love your bubbles try to go for ones that have the following terms on the label; Brut Nature and Zero Dosage, such as the Ca del Bosco Dosage Zero which means that no sweetness has been added to the wine (which is a part of the process of making Champagne and other traditional method sparkling wines).
Global warming places a big challenge for lower alcohol wines since on a warm vintage the alcohol will be higher and vintages keep getting warmer whereas in the past 12% was something easy to find, today the new normal is 13%. When trying to limit your alcohol intake, always check the alcohol volume and try to choose wines that are 13% or less.
However, as stated above, moderation is key, so if you love your 16% Amarone, go ahead and enjoy a glass, just remember to keep your Coravin handy to avoid any wastage. Coravin have now also released a system for sparkling wines too, so you are covered on all fronts.