When it comes to healthy living, wine--and alcohol in general--often doesn't fit into the picture. Whether you're counting calories or just trying to keep your alcohol consumption light, an abstract wine label can leave you wondering what the heck you're actually consuming and what it might mean for your health. Luckily, you really only need to know one thing: Alcohol content matters! When you see that little percentage on a wine label, pay attention.
Alcohol content signals a few things. First of all, it's the primary way to decide whether or not a wine is high in calories. Because alcohol is produced with sugars (in wine's case, natural grape sugars), we know that wines with a larger alcohol content (15% +) may contain left over sugar (called residual sugar) because the yeast used in the fermentation process has been exhausted. Remember, yeast eats sugar--kind of like Ms. Pac-man--during the fermentation process, and the bioproduct is alcohol. Wines that contain this left over sugar therefore have more calories.
In general, when seeking out low alcohol wine options, reach for red, white, rosé and sparkling wines from old world regions (EU categories). Generally speaking, cooler climates (like the regions in the EU) grow grapes with higher acid and lower sugar. In turn, the wines have lower alcohol and they ferment to 100% dry (meaning, zero sugar left over. See paragraph above!). Bottom line? If you're concerned about consuming less calories in general, reach for wines with percentages lower than 15%.
Another thing we know about alcohol content? The higher the number the more likely you are to suffer that nasty headache in the morning. Alcohol is a diuretic, which can lead to rapid dehydration and then a thudding headache. So in addition to chugging water while you drink wine, choosing a low alcohol bottle will keep you from dehydration a bit longer.
Finally, beyond making you feel a little better, less alcohol can be better for you in the long run. The World Cancer Research Fund also advises switching to lower alcohol wines to lower your risk of bowel and liver cancer (although they'd probably prefer alcohol didn't exist at all!). That's pretty great incentive, right?
So let's hop on this train together! There are SO many delicious little low alcohol gems out there, you really have no excuse. Below you'll find a sampling of the low alcohol wines available in our shop (psst! we have so many more than this list in the club--this is just a snapshot of the bunch). Clink, clink!
A SAMPLING OF SIP BETTER'S LOW ALCOHOL WINE LIST