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Kali Mireva

Rise of Low-Alcohol Wines: Embracing Lighter Options

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Wine is the favorite alcoholic beverage of many adults all over the world. As a matter of fact, some studies show that 75% of adults drink different varieties of wine on a regular basis. From red, white, and rose all the way to sparkling wines - it’s important to have variety on your wine list

But wine variety is not limited to the type of grapes used to produce the wine. Now, restaurant owners need to consider options, such as canned wine, low-alcoholic wines, exotic wines, CBD wines, etc. The are plenty of health benefits of drinking wine, especially some unique varieties. They will also make your business more desirable to customers.

Here, however, we want to talk more about the rise of low-alcohol wines and why it’s good to add them to your wine offers. If you want to learn more and see how to incorporate them into any restaurant’s menu, just keep reading! In addition, you can read our articles on wine alcohol content and alcohol expiration.

What Is Low-Alcohol Wine?

Wines that are considered low-alcoholic usually have under 11% ABV (alcohol per volume). If the wine has less than 10% of alcohol, it falls in the category of very low-alcoholic wines. 

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What’s the Difference Between Regular Wines and Low-Alcohol Wines?

Wines can lie anywhere between 5% and 23% in ABV. The average alcohol content is 12%. As previously mentioned, wines below the 11% mark are considered to be low-alcohol wines so every wine with a higher percentage of alcohol is regular wine. 

However, there’s also another category of non-alcoholic wines that is worth exploring if you are a business owner in the hospitality industry. Low-alcohol wines and non-alcoholic varieties give more customers the opportunity to enjoy a nice glass of wine, especially those avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption.

Key Takeaway: Low-alcohol wines are a valuable addition to the beverage programs of bars, restaurants, hotels, country clubs, and cruise lines. They allow a wide range of people to enjoy good wine with their meals, even if the customers are trying to limit their alcohol intake. Wine tastings and events can also benefit from offering low-alcohol wine options.

Are Low-Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Wines Similar?

Low-alcoholic wines have a lower ABV than the popular wine varieties, while non-alcoholic wines have a 0% ABV. There’s even another category of wine called de-alcoholized wine, which has an ABV of 5%.

There’s a big difference between all these categories of wine, which makes it important for hotels, restaurants, country clubs, and even cruise ships with large beverage programs to stock up on a variety. 

How Are Low-Alcohol Wines Made? 

The percentage of alcohol in a bottle of wine depends both on the type of grapes used for its production and the winemaking process itself. Typically, grapes high in sugar turn into wines with a higher alcohol percentage. However, the percentage of alcohol can be adjusted through the wine-making process, too. 

The percentage of alcohol can be limited naturally by using grapes with lower sugar levels or by manipulating the production process. Winemakers can adjust the process so the final product doesn’t get as much sugar from the grapes as it would otherwise. This is how they can create wines with lower alcohol from any type of grapes. 

Why Should Restaurants Serve Low-Alcohol Wines?

If you are running your own business and you want to curate a great beverage menu, you have a lot on your plate. From vegan wines to non-alcoholic options to exotic wines and true classics - there’s a lot of thinking and planning to be done. 

With the following list, we want to help you decide whether or not low-alcoholic wines will make the cut for your restaurant’s wine list. 

Expanding the Variety

When you offer low-alcohol wines, your customers will have a broader range of choices. This is a way to make the casual or fine dining experience of people who are limiting their alcohol consumption special. 

Health-Consciousness in Consumers

Over the last few years, customers who are becoming more health-conscious have increased in number. Many motor their calorie intake (see: calories in wine) and there’s even a big market for certified gluten-free wines

To offer options to these customers who want to enjoy a nice bottle of wine or wine by the glass with their delicious meal, you should include low and non-alcoholic wine options to your menu. This level of consideration will improve greatly the customer experience!

Versatility in Food Pairings

 The more drink options you offer, the more and the better the drinks and food pairings will be! Low-alcohol wines can pair well with a wide variety of meals, including seafood dishes, steak dinners, chicken and lamb dishes, and more. 

Brunch and Lunch Appropriate Drinks

Some people love having a nice glass of wine with their brunch (see: what is brunch) or lunch. However, options that are higher in alcohol are typically not very suitable for daytime drinking. When you offer wines with lower alcohol content, they can easily be paired with the lunch and brunch menu. You can even use frozen wine techniques.

Wine Flights and Tastings

Low-alcohol wines can be featured in wine-tasting flights and wine-tasting parties, which will allow customers to try more options without the effects of alcohol kicking in quickly. They will be able to enjoy tasting a variety of wines and avoid some unpleasant effects of drinking wine with higher alcohol percentages. 

Reduced Risk of Overdrinking

Low-alcohol wines allow people to enjoy a good drink with their meal and do so in a responsible way. Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to bad side effects, which can be avoided by choosing low-alcoholic drinks instead of drinks that are high in alcohol. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Low-Alcohol Wines

Need more information regarding low-alcohol wines? Let’s see what people commonly ask and what are the answers to their questions!

Do Low-Alcohol Wines Taste Different Than Traditional Wines?

Low-alcohol wines can have slightly different flavors because of the altered fermentation process. However, many are made in a way to maintain the character and quality of traditional wines.

Modern technology allows for wines to be created similar in taste, although they may have different alcohol percentages and sugar amounts.

Are Low-Alcohol Wines Only for Health-Conscious People?

Wines with low-alcohol content are not reserved for health-conscious people. They offer consumers a wide range of wine they can enjoy with different meals, at different times of the day. They are also great options for special occasions where people tend to consume more alcohol than they usually would. 

Wine-tasting events would commonly use a combination of traditional and low-alcohol wines to create a better experience for the customers and avoid overconsumption of alcohol. 

Can I Find a Variety of Wines in a Low-Alcoholic Version?

Low-alcohol wines, just like their traditional counterparts, can be red, white, rose, and even sparkling wines. Winemakers ensure there is a variety of wines with the traditional ABV, as well as with lower alcohol content and even without any alcohol content.

Taste can vary slightly but overall the modern winemaking processes allow for wineries to create wines that have similar flavor profiles even if the alcohol percentage is different. They are a suitable option when you want to make wine cocktails that don't have a high alcohol percentage.

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