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