Whether you’re committing to reducing your alcohol intake after two years of pandemic-fueled palate enrichment or looking for a lighter beverage alternative to beat the heat and still feel great in the morning, we’ve got you covered. Low-alcohol wines are great for summer sipping, and the best part is, you don’t have to compromise flavor to enjoy life on the lighter side of wine.
Best Low-Alcohol Wines to Drink and Share this Summer
Here is our curated collection of low-alcohol wines, plus a few ideas to lighten up your wine experience this summer.
Vinho Verde is a style of Portuguese white wine produced from grapes that aren’t allowed to ripen fully. The resulting wine is low in alcohol and sugar and usually slightly fizzy because it’s bottled with a bit of CO2 left in the bottle. Vinho Verde translates literally to “green wine” due to the nature of the winemaking process. It’s crisp, balanced, light, and delicious, which is why it’s our favorite summer sipper. Best of all, it’s usually about 9% ABV so it won’t weigh you down. Enjoy it on the patio with good friends or poolside with slices of fresh melon or white stilton to munch on. It’s equally as good with a crisp salad and all kinds of summer fare.
This lightly fizzy wine is also quite sweet, but you’ll love the aromatics. The nose bursts with honeysuckle and wildflowers, making for a delightful confection that clocks in at about 5% ABV. If you’re avoiding sugar as well as alcohol, try mixing your Asti with your favorite sparkling mineral water or club soda and a slice of lemon. Moscato is delightful with fresh berries, so be sure to have a bowlful close at hand.
Riesling isn’t always sweet, but those that are lower in alcohol generally are a bit sweeter. Choose a Kabinett selection from Germany’s Mosel region. If you can find a single vineyard bottle, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by aromas of fresh strawberries, rose petals, and lemon drop. Riesling ABV typically falls between 9-11%, and though they can be sweet on the lower end of that scale, riesling’s high natural acidity balances out the sugar nicely. Enjoy with anything from charcuterie to cheeses, Caprese salad, tabouleh, falafel, or anything you fancy.
Gamay is a light-bodied red wine that does remarkably well with a little chill on it in the summer. Choose one from Beaujolais or the Loire Valley regions of France, or try one made by carbonic maceration. Gamay is low in tannin, easy-drinking, fruity, fresh, and highly quaffable. Put your gamay in the fridge for about 30 minutes before enjoying for maximum summertime enjoyment. As for pairing summer fare with gamay, you can’t go wrong with grilled veggies, chicken, or even spicy sausages.
Low-alcohol wine comes in many flavors and colors—and you can sip it all summer long without missing a beat. Explore our wine club subscriptions today and discover your next crush!