My F&W
quick save (...)

Tips for Finding Light Wine

Here are three ways to track down delicious wines that are refreshingly moderate in alcohol.

1. Look for Off-Dry Whites

Wines with a hint of sweetness tend to have less alcohol than totally dry wines, because a small amount of their sugar hasn’t been fermented. The classic example is Riesling from Germany, as long as it isn’t designated trocken (dry).

Bottles to Look For

2008 St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling ($17)

2007 Selbach-Oster Riesling-Kabinett ($23)

2007 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett ($27)

2. Try Wines from Cool Climates

Grapes grown in cooler climates, like upstate New York’s Finger Lakes and France’s Bordeaux and Champagne regions, tend to develop less sugar than those grown in warmer areas, resulting in lower-alcohol wines.

Bottles to Look For

2007 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Gewürztraminer ($19)

2007 Château Graville-Lacoste Graves ($21)

NV Laurent-Perrier Brut ($45)

3. Buy Lighter Grape Varieties

Some grapes can produce flavorful wines at low sugar levels. Gamay, Sémillon (when not used for dessert wines) and Trebbiano tend to be light in body, high in acidity and low in alcohol.

Bottles to Look For

2008 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ($16)

2006 Cataldi Madonna Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ($18)

2007 Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes (Gamay) ($18)

More Wine Tips:

Published August 2009


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.