close

Lower on alcohol, bigger on good taste

If you had to name three big buzzwords in wine circles today, what would you say?

Lower alcohol, organic and biodynamic are the first to spring to mind for yours truly and this month we are focussing on an interesting range of wines from a producer who is at the forefront of making lower alcohol wines, which still have plenty of flavour.

That's not an easy aim to achieve for winemaker John Forrest, who says he is staggered by both local and international interest (and high sales too) of his lower alcohol Doctors' wine range.

If the apostrophe appears to be in an unusual spot, that's because both John and his wife, Brigid, are qualified doctors, and they co-own the brand.

It all began back in 2006 with a humble, lower than usual alcohol Riesling at a relatively modest price, around $20. This wine still drinks exceptionally well, by the way, because even when it's made in high volume, Riesling has inherent qualities that allow it to evolve into a characterful wine, given age. 

It is also often a lower than usual alcohol wine because of its high acidity, which is best balanced by the retention of a little natural grape sugar (also known as 'RS' - residual sugar).

Enter the world of lower alcohol wines - with flavour. Riesling fits the bill better than any other wine grape I can think of and there are a quite few. It's great to see John Forrest dialling up the flavour on his range of lower alcohol wines.

Lower alcohol wine tasting, in store at Regional with winemaker John Forrest

Thursday 28 February from 3pm to 6pm

* By the way, an analysis of US wines published in the UK magazine, The Drinks Business, discovered that calorie savings “aren’t particularly significant” in lower alcohol wines.

A glass of white wine typically has 13.5% alcohol by volume which translates to 112 calories, compared to 95 calories per glass for wines with 3% to 4% lower ABV.