There may have been a time when serious wine drinkers said: ‘Low alcohol wine!? Stuff and nonsense! Under 15%? That’s a soft drink! Tip it down the sink!’
Then they’d have woken up with a stonking sore head and poured shiraz over their cereal because they’d forgotten to buy milk.
But as more good quality, low-alcohol options appear in the market dedicated wine drinkers are starting to think: What really makes a wine appealing? Hint: It is not how sloshed it makes you.
So, low alcohol wines – what do I look for? Varietal expression. Just because we’re sacrificing alcohol doesn’t mean the character of the grape needs to go with it. Does that 9% alcohol Tassie pinot noir drink like Tassie pinot? Does that lighter kiwi sauvignon blanc taste like its brethren? Could I pick that red as South Australian cabernet even without the ethanol? If the answer is yes, then we have a winner. The only other rule is that they have to be delicious.
Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light Prosecco NV
A drum roll please…Brown Brother’s Refeshingly Light Prosecco tastes like…Prosecco. Bingo. Lemon, white flowers and a hint of honey. The bubbles are fine, fresh and persistent but allow the fruit to shine.
Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light Pinot Grigio 2020
Pretty aromas of nashi pear, apple skin and lime. Compared with ‘full strength’ Victorian pinot grigio the textures are a little more delicate; the wine has a softer flow. It’s still super fresh – the acid tart and tangy leaving a length with flavour hints of tangerine, preserved lemon and dry white spice.
Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Intense aromas of papaya, pineapple and passionfruit. Grassy, greener notes are less pronounced, subtle hints of cut lawn and pea backing up the fruit. The texture is lean and limey while the acid is bright and bracing.
Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light Dry Rose 2020
Cherry skin, rose petals, jasmine, nectarines. There’s a lot going on because there’s a lot in it including pinot noir, malbec and shiraz from Victorian and Tassie vineyards. The flavours ripen as the wine warms on the palate giving more plum skin and dark strawberry. Lots of fine texture that pervades every nook in your palate. Good length. Strike that, great length with notes of cherry stem and strawberry yoghurt in no rush to be anywhere.