Recently, there’s been a surge in awareness about the alcohol by volume (abv) levels in wines. The duty on wines is now influenced by their alcohol content, with a notable increase for wines between 11.5% and 14.5%. This has prompted wine drinkers to be more discerning about the figures on wine labels, especially those seeking wines with slightly lower alcohol for easy drinking.
The changing climate has led to riper grapes in many wine regions, resulting in wines with higher alcohol. However, wines from cooler regions like north-east Italy and Germany still offer lighter options. Pinot noir, with its thin skin and tangy fruit, stands out among grape varieties for producing elegant wines. Lower alcohol red wines are perfect for summer, pairing well with fresh food, cold cuts and cheeses.
The Telegraph has an article on Five of the best 12% red wines under £10 (might be behind a paywall now). The wines under £10 include the lively Co-op Villa Garducci Merlot 2021 from Veneto, Italy, and the fragrant Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pinot Noir 2021 from Rheinhessen, Germany. The Majestic Cantina del Garda Bardolino 2022 from Italy offers a blend of local grapes with a scent of ripe black cherries. The Majestic Beato Bartolomeo Pinot Nero 2021, also from Veneto, Italy, has violets and soft blackcurrant flavours. Lastly, the Tesco Finest Douro 2021 from Portugal, a table red from the port region of the Douro Valley, offers a sophisticated taste blend of classic port grapes.