HEALTH kicks, diets and bandwagons. I’m not keen to jump on any of them.
I fidget when I open a “low calorie” wine. It doesn’t sit well with me. The day I tasted FirstCape Light someone on Twitter coincidentally asked me to recommend a “nice low-calorie wine”.
I replied that “nice” “low calorie” and “wine” aren’t words I would use in the same sentence.
I’d sooner have a glass of water and just one glass of “normal” wine rather than forego the treat of an after-work vino. Is that wrong?
It appears many of you are buying wines with fewer calories and lighter alcohol. The lighter style wine category has grown 34.7% in the past 12 months, with the market worth £38m. FirstCape’s value alone is £22m – a 60% share of the market, according to data from Nielsen.
As these wines are lower in alcohol consumers pay less duty on the wine itself.
Call me a cynic, but that begs the question whether there’s more profit to be made – because fewer grapes are used to make these kind of wines. But hey, I’m not here to do sums. I enjoy wine. I’m not brilliant at logarithms.
To FirstCape Light. It sells in Morrisons and Tesco in both a drink-responsibly 50cl bottle (RRP £3.99) or 75cl (RRP £5.99).
FirstCape Light is 5.5% ABV with 57 calories per glass (compared with 74 calories in a standard FirstCape 125ml glass).
All the varieties are in still or sparkling and come in various styles; Italian pinot grigio (oh my – an oft, mass-produced, light, insipid wine made even lighter?) Californian zinfandel, and the wine I tasted, a still New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The back of my bottle declared it was a “mixed drink” with 43% sauvignon blanc and 57 per cent 0% ABV alcohol mixer. I don’t know what that was. On the nose? Watered down lime cordial. To taste? Spritzy lime cordial with high acidity. No finish, but certainly a high level of cheek-watering zizz akin to a sauvignon blanc.
I’m not a fan; but if you’re counting calories, you may well be.
If it’s lower alcohol you want try The Wine Society’s Saar Riesling (£8.95, www.thewinesociety.com) which is a sensible 10% ABV. It’s medium dry with an edge of green fruits and a lovely light humming-bird wisp of white flowers. Enjoy one sensible glass – oh well, two if you must.
ALSO in my glass this week ... I’ve savoured Errazuriz Estate Sangiovese 2010, (£9.99, Tesco) from the Aconcagua Valley In Chile. No low alcohol here, with a punchy 13.5%. The small grapes – more synonymous with Tuscany than Chile – were hand-picked after spending warm summer days cooled by afternoon Pacific breezes. After eight months in French and American oak barrels, the result is a softly-rounded medium to full bodied red with the sweetness of cherries and figs. A smooth wine with a good finish which was perfect with a simple steak and creamy-mustard baked potatoes.
THE Wall to Wall Gallery in the Metquarter Liverpool is holding an informal wine and cheese evening next Thursday (October 25) from 6pm-8pm. Wine merchant, Scatchards and the Liverpool Cheese Company will be tickling the tastebuds as guests listen to music and browse the artworks. Register on the guest list by contacting Wall to Wall Gallery on 0151 227 4844.