Light wines—

The difference between a few glasses at 14.5% alcohol versus 11.5% adds up considerably over time. Thankfully there are plenty of lighter options. Cool climate or coastal wines are a decent bet: English whites are my go-to pick. For a bargain, South West France’s Colombard is a zesty zinger.

For fizz, Prosecco fits the bill, but try Tesco Finest Lambrusco Reggiano Amabile DOC NV (8%) for £7 – wine’s answer to cherryade. For a party drink there’s Basque ‘Kalimotxo’ – red wine and cola in equal quantities over ice, but since that’s considered wine heresy, how about rosé instead?

Or orange wine for a more characterful surprise – white wine macerated with grape skins enriching colour and texture. I’ve even found a ‘low alcohol’ red that doesn’t taste like the sweat of the devil. But for me English wine is heaven.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

SWING LOW, SWEET CABERNET: Low Alcohol Cabernet-Tempranillo 2018 (0.5%) £3 Co-op. The first ‘low alcohol’ red that hasn’t given me wine rage. Kalimotxo time?

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT: Les Richoises White 2018 (11.5%) £5 Morrisons. A star from south-west France. Kneel before Colombard the king.

FRESH QUINCE OF BEL-AIR: Orange Natural Wine 2018 (12.5%) £6 Asda. Tangy and moreish as a beckoning quince.

PICTURES OF LILY: Finest English White 2018 (11.5%) £12 Tesco. Shrill and zest as a lily singing opera in a lemon grove.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2018 (10.5%) £10 Sainsbury’s. No-brainer bubbly.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 30th June 2019

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