Reduced-Alcohol Wines

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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reduced-alcohol wines, are those with a lower than normal alcoholic strength, generally less than 5.5%. The easiest and cheapest way to produce these low-alcohol products is simply to dilute wine using water (to make a spritzer-type drink), natural or flavoured fruit juices, or even grape juice to make an all-vinous product.

Another method is to arrest fermentation before it is complete by refrigeration, resulting in a sweet, low-alcohol, often lightly sparkling drink. This is a particularly common technique in Italy and is conducted at all sorts of quality levels, from the finest moscato d’asti to partial fermentation of lambrusco must stored throughout the year at low temperatures and transformed into relatively industrial ‘Lambrusco Light’ as required. See also dealcoholized wine.