Lighten Up !
Even the most skeptical among us are finally coming around to the fact that it is actually getting warmer and nicer, with particular luck over the last few weekends. That said, I thought it would be good to suggest some wines whose lower ABV (alcohol by volume) could be the difference between enjoyment and “what happened?”, the next day.
Many of New Zealand’s vineyards and wineries are consciously striving to make more and more of their white wines low ABV but, at the same time, keep the original flavors and structure of them unchanged. Stoneleigh Winery, based in the Marlborough region of the country’s South Island, is owned by France’s Pernod Ricard and it has developed several of these types of wines-they call them their Bright wines. Stoneleigh Bright Marlborough Pinot Gris, 2018, ($13.99), has a 9.5% ABV, as opposed to 13% for their regular wines. This wine is still a beauty, though-full tropical notes of pineapples, berries and melon, with a crisp, fresh balance and a really smooth finish that complements Fish Tacos, Asian Egg rolls or Mahi Mahi.
Another wine in this category is Stoneleigh Bright Marlborough Rose, 2018, ($13.99), which also has lower alcohol, but again, not at the expense of flavor and structure. I tasted notes of red cherries, raspberries and lemongrass; again, with a great structure and finish. Try this one with some oysters or cherrystones, sushi or octopus salad.
Another grape that offers naturally lower alcohol is Riesling and I think that the best still comes from Germany. Adolph Mueller Pier sporter Michelsberg, Auslese, 2018, ($19.99), is a classic-it combines notes of citrus and fruit, especially strawberries, in a dry , structured wine, with a surprisingly long finish, especially since the ABV is just 8%. This Mueller is only concerned with the best possible collusion- great fruit, capable wine making and a delicious result. Spicy Asian dishes, Pasta and Pesto and Crisp Suckling Pork are all so much better with this one.
Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore 2017,Vintage Sparkling Wine, Valdobbiadene, Prosecco, Italy, ($25.99), is a really sophisticated, heady type of sparkling wine. The plants are grown in clay, or,”crede” and they have to fight hard for water. Despite the full-bodied nature of the wine, the strong citrus and melon notes and the long, distinctive finish, it’s still just 11.5%, but tastes like much more.
So, enjoy the sun and the wine together-high temps, low alcohol!