WBW 22 – Lite (alcohol) Reds

by Tim Elliott on May 25, 2006

Since I got into wine back in the early 1980’s, the flavor profiles of wines, particularly red wines, has changed significantly. Most of this change has been for the good; more consistent quality, vibrant fruit and early maturity. But there is one downside to these riper styled wines: they are significantly higher in alcohol than they used to be. I remember the ripest Bordeaux and Napa Valley Cabs being around 12%, now many are routinely 14% or more. So for Wine Blogging Wednesday 22, I propose we drink on the lite side and choose red wines that are 12.5% alcohol or less. The wines can be from any country and grape varietal. Special kudos will go to those who choose an Aussie Shiraz, California Zinfandel or Rhône wine that meets this relatively low alcohol threshold. I’ll be especially looking for your impressions of how much flavor, if any, is missing from your selection.

Join me on June 14th for this event and once you post, please trackback to this entry or drop me an email with a link to your post so I can complete the summary.


  • http://winefoolery.net Erwin Dink

    What a great idea! I’m a lover of big reds and, in particular, Rhone style reds but lately have been dismayed by overbearing alcohol in some of them. This is going to be fun. Thanks.

  • http://www.tasteeverythingonce.com Jennifer

    I’ll be there. Now on to the research!

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  • http://winefornewbies.net/ Bill Wilson

    Great theme, Tim! This will get me examining the labels much more closely. Sounds like it could be a good theme for a WFN podcast episode as well…comparing a lower alcohol red with a high octane red. :-)

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  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    Germany was my first thought when I read your theme – but not being a fan of Rieslings I was wracking my brians for another alternative. But as luck would have it my parents brought back some interesting looking reds from Germany the other day. As I think all three are 12/12.5 % I might just have to submit three wines for this round!

  • http://see-sip-taste-hear.blogspot.com/ Collin

    Sounds great.
    I am going to have to start looking for our low-alcohol red wine.

  • http://www.njconcierges.com Serge Lescouarnec

    Looking forward to participating in this one on ‘Serge the Concierge’

    Take care


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  • http://yahoo John

    For lower alcohol reds with great flavor consider traditional Rioja (La Rioja Alta) and Italian Chianti Classicos (Castellare). Both of these wines and several like them from their respective regions are at 12.5%. Reds in the summer over 12.5% seem very heavy to me.

  • http://yahoo John

    One more world class wine is the Chianti from Montevertine. This is also a 12.5% alcohol wine.

  • http://winecast.net Tim

    Some great suggestions, John. I’m hoping some entries will not be at the limit, but under 12.5% ABV, as well. Check in on Wednesday for more, but two of my wines are from Spain and Italy…

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  • http://www.wine-girl.net Michelle

    Life has gotten in my way a bit this week but I should have my WBW link to you tomorrow evening after dinner. Hope that’s not too late! Perusing the local wine store this evening for just the right wine was an education in alcohol levels!

  • http://winecast.net Tim

    No worries, my final summary will not go up until Wine Blogging Friday 😉

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  • Sarah K

    The avarage alcohol content of red wine should be abt 14%,however this will depend on the length of fermentation. The best wine should have LDL(Low density Lipo-protein) and appreciable amount of HDL(High Density Lipo-protein)

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