Archive for the ‘Low Alcohol’ Category

Watch that waistline...

Watch that waistline…

 

You’re a pro at checking labels at the grocery store, but when you hit the liquor store for a bottle of wine, nutrition facts are nowhere to be found. Luckily, armed with some basic knowledge, you can easily figure out which wines are the best buys for your bikini body as well as your palette. We spoke with wine expert Madeline Puckette, cofounder of Wine Folly, who shared her best tips for finding great-tasting wines that won’t derail your diet.

1. Check the ABV. While there are no actual nutrition labels on bottles of wine, there is one indicator you can use to approximate calories: the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) percentage. ABVs can range from 9 percent for low-alcohol wines up to 17 percent for some dry wines. “Aim for an ABV that’s between 9 to 12 percent, which equals 110 to 140 calories per six-ounce pour,” Puckette says. The amount of alcohol in wine has more influence on calorie count than carbs, since alcohol has seven calories per gram, while carbs (i.e. sugars) have four. So a lower-alcohol wine has fewer calories than higher-alcohol wines, independent of the amount of sugar. (Check out Wine Folly’s helpful infographic, below.)

2. Buy European. “A smart tip to keep in mind is to look for European wines from regions like Italy, France, and Germany,” Puckette says. These countries tend to have stricter laws and regulations on alcohol content in wines than America, so European wines tend to be lower in alcohol and, hence, calories. “Also try to avoid wines grown in warmer regions like Chile or Australia, where higher sugar content in grapes converts to higher ABV in wines,” she adds.

3. Stick with white. In general, white wines tend to be lower in alcohol and calories than reds. “While light whites have around 140 calories or less per six-ounce glass, a light red has between 135 to 165 calories, while a higher-alcohol red like pinot noir or syrah can have up to 200 in a glass,” Puckette says. Light white varieties such as Riesling, pinot grigio, and vinho verde have fewer calories than whites with higher ABVs like moscato, Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and viognier.

 

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Wine for the calorie watchers.

Wine for the calorie watchers.

Marketing wine on the number of calories it contains is far more effective than claiming drinking it can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Speaking at the London International Wine Fair 2013 today at ExCeL, London, Mintel global drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth said the idea of a healthy lifestyle remains an abstract idea for consumers, making it difficult to market.

However, he added, everyone understands calories and can quickly find out how many are in whatever they are consuming, making it far easier to market.

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With around 20% of Americans on a diet, low-calorie wine brands are booming in the US, and particularly where celebrities are involved.
Kick-starting the trend was Skinnygirl, which, as previously reported by db, was a label created in 2009 initially for ready-made cocktails by chef, author and TV star Bethenny Frankel.

The brand now also includes a range of three wines, which were added to the line-up in March 2012 (following the sale of the label to Fortune Brands/Beam for US$8.1 million in March 2011).

More recently, in January this year, former Foster’s wine division Treasury Wine Estates launched The Skinny Vine in the US, backed up by Christine Avanti, a celebrity nutritionist and author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food (pictured, left).

According to the company, the new product has already sold 100,000 cases, half the quantity sold by Skinnygirl wines in its first year, although The Skinny Vine is cheaper, with an RRP of US$11 compared to Skinnygirl’s $15 per bottle.

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Alcohol to high in wines?

Alcohol to high in wines?

 

Alcohol levels in just about everything are rising, and a lot of people aren’t happy about it. Nonetheless, winemakers would really rather you not know that they’re doing something about it. Or, at least, one particular something about it: dealcoholization, or “dealcing.” While there are alcohol-free or very low alcohol wines on the market, what I’m talking about is bringing super-hot 14-17% alcohol wines down to the more comfortable 11-14% range.

 

Why alcohol levels are rising is no mystery. Winemakers are working with riper grapes to satisfy contemporary tastes for the big, the luscious, and the fruit-forward. Wine growing regions are warming up so that grapes have the time and sunlight to accumulate sugars like never before. Better yeasts are able to handle both more sugar and more alcohol without giving up, so winemakers don’t have to add water to ensure that high-sugar musts will ferment.

What to do about all this heat is a different matter. You might argue that we shouldn’t do anything about it at all; higher ABVs are a natural consequence of riper fruit, riper fruit is good, and so there we are. But plenty of other people, including a lot of consumers, aren’t happy about seeing numbers in the 14-16% range on their bottles, and a substantial industry has emerged in an effort to make those people happier.

Reducing alcohol isn’t just about pleasing customers who want lower-alcohol wines, though that’s part of it. It’s also about taxes. Both in the United States and the EU, wines with more than 14% alcohol reported on the bottle (labels only have to be accurate by plus or minus 0.5%) accrue higher taxes than wines under that limit. For mega-wineries with lakes of wine to process, “dealcing” to slide below that threshold can save money. And then there’s the “balance” argument; some winemakers feel as though their wine tastes better with super-ripe flavors but less alcohol than that ripeness usually produces. The EU allows winemakers to reduce the alcohol content of their wines by up to two (ABV) percentage points either via the reverse osmosis or spinning cone approach. American winemakers are free to reduce as they please.
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Low-alcohol-drinks-cut-bo-007

 

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has adopted new definitions of low-alcohol and de-alcoholized wines.

The move by the OIV comes amid a rise in the popularity of low-alcohol wines, with producers such as Skinnygirl targeting female consumers in particular. Other winemakers are seeking to reduce the high alcohol content of their more potent wines, created by factors such as better vineyard management and the picking of grapes later (and riper). Some can have alcohol levels of up to 17 percent. Alcohol reduction can also improve the taste balance of particular wines.

Alcohol is reduced or removed using techniques such as spinning cones and reverse osmosis. Conetech, a California-based company which specializes in “alcohol adjustment,” says it treats six million gallons of wine annually from around 600 clients. It also has plants in Chile, Spain, France and South Africa, with Australia soon to follow.

The difficulty is that the rules governing the use of alcohol-reduction technology vary worldwide.

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A CDC survey reports alcohol drinkers consume more calories than recommended, lumping wine in with soda

how-to-loose-belly-fat

Just when Americans are drinking and making merry at holiday parties and dinners, a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that alcoholic beverages may be adding extra calories to our waistlines. But is it simplistic to lump wine, beer and spirits in with sugary sodas?

Published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the survey finds that the average consumer of alcoholic beverages takes in more than their daily-recommended intake for the kinds of calories that come from added sugars, a category that includes beer, wine and spirits. But some experts argue that the survey paints with too broad a brush.

For the survey, the authors examined data from the long-running National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which involved more than 11,000 people across the country over the age of 20 who provided details on the foods and drinks they consumed in a typical day. The good news is drinkers don’t pass the calorie threshold by much. The survey finds that, on average, Americans who drink daily take in 16 percent of their calories in the form of added sugar. The recommended intake is between 5 percent and 15 percent.

The authors calculated that 12.5 ounces of wine contains roughly 150 calories. So, if drinking in moderation, a man could consume up to… read on

Also Read:

  • The Big 5 reasons why people should drink wine! (By Johan Botha)