How to Sip Lighter This Summer

Are there ever times you wish you could monitor your drinking a little bit more?

In fact, there may be times where you want to support other positive changes you, or someone close to you, are making in their overall lifestyle; perhaps it may be because you want to remain sharper and more in control; or it might be simply because you have other things you need to do after that glass of wine.

There are many occasions where sipping on lower alcohol wines offer you the perfect solution. Sipping wine should always be fun and enjoyed in moderation. With so much attention these days around millennials as a “wellness” generation, it makes sense we want to get educated on the effects of alcohol and the solutions around how to be proactive in your sipping habits.

It’s finally summertime, which means spending time with friends and family on patios, enjoying time around the pool, travelling around town and entertaining. Because summer never seems to last long enough, we must make the most of every day when the sun is out.  In the winter, a glass of red wine relaxes and soothes our soul, in the summer, a glass of refreshing white wine or rosé is quintessential while celebrating the season. A glass of wine pairs well with being reunited with friends, laughter, picturesque sunsets, the smell of the BBQ and well, just about anything you can think of. But it’s also easy to get a little carried away with daily happy hours. 

One way to lower your alcohol content at these gatherings is to opt for a Mimosa instead. They are a great way to celebrate the day while also lowering alcohol content by adding juice for the perfect brunch companion. The alcohol in Prosecco is typically around 11%. This percentage is already lower than other red and white wines, which can go as high as 14 and 15%. Once you add in orange or grapefruit juice you’re cutting that 11% alcohol down to half or even less depending on the total mixture preferred.  Mimosas are an excellent way to enjoy your adult beverage while still being mindful of your health.

After a recent wine-based educational trip to New Zealand, I learned more about this consumer trend – there is a growing number of occasions wine lovers seek to moderate without giving up the joy of wine. Rooted in this desire for a glass of quality wine that has lower alcohol content, New Zealanders have invested in a major research initiative.

“NZ Lighter Wines” is the product of a significant New Zealand 7-year research and development programme led by New Zealand Winegrowers and co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries, and 18 participating New Zealand wine companies. Over the last five years, the programme has dedicated its time to perfecting the art of creating naturally reduced alcohol wines that start in the vineyard. This means that the emphasis is on slowing the overall ripening of the grape so that the sugar remains low, and the grape still retains its flavour with a slower ripening pace managed by the vigneron and winemaker. This type of process comes down to understanding and researching the overall site selection for vineyards, the physiology of the grapes being planted, how, when and where the grape best ripens, and how the vine canopy can be used as an umbrella to shade the grapes rather than exposing them to the sun. In New Zealand grapes are grown in a gorgeously cool, maritime climate and slow-ripened to produce full-flavoured wine with up to 30% less alcohol compared to an equivalent full strength wine. This means you can still enjoy a glass without giving up what New Zealand wine is famous for – premium quality, varietally expressive, and delicious wines. You can even say that ’Lighter Wines’ from New Zealand are perfectly matched with those aiming for balance when it comes to incorporating wellness in their life.

There are many lower alcohol options available on the market such as Moscato or Riesling, which are great options for people who prefer a bit of sweetness in their wine. Most of these wines that are currently available on the market were made from fully ripened grapes and before completing to a full dry fermentation, it was stopped to keep the alcohol low and leave a little bit of sugar in the wine. Some of these wines are available in a can for easy transportation and opening and also in a bottle.

No matter what your taste profile or the occasion, choosing lower alcohol wines are a great way to moderate your consumption and bring consciousness into mindful drinking. With these moderate consumption occasions in mind (sipping during the day, under the sun, during business hours, etc) lower alcohol wines are a great way to stay mindful and sharp. 

To learn more about Lighter Wines follow @NZLighterwines on Instagram and/or visit

To learn more about Wines of New Zealand follow @NZWineCanada and