With summer blooming and the festive season just around the corner we’re all looking forward to living a little lighter. So it’s comforting to know we can still enjoy the season with lower alcohol wine styles as an alternative to the heavier, fuller styles becoming so prominent.
Little Harvest is a new range of lighter wines launched this month - with Kerre McIvor as the face of the brand - that offers people a lighter choice when looking to enjoy a glass or two.
It’s a global trend. Recent research shows that 38 per cent of wine drinkers around the world – around 80 million people - are choosing lower alcohol wine styles.
There are three regional wines in the Little Harvest stable – a Gisborne Moscato, a Rosé from Hawke’s Bay and a Sauvignon Blanc from the renowned region of Marlborough.
Kerre McIvor says when she was asked to trial the brand she wasn’t really expecting to taste “such fantastic flavours”.
“A lighter wine, I thought, would be a lesser wine. Surely, if it's lower in alcohol, there's going to be a corresponding drop in quality. Wrong. Little Harvest picks the grapes early - late enough to get the full flavour but early enough to limit the alcohol content.
“All the aromas and flavours you'd expect from a Sauvignon, a Rosé and a Moscato are there but they are a whole lot more gentle than your average 12 or 13 per cent wine. It's the perfect beverage for making the most of long summer days,” Kerre says.
The Moscato from Gisborne grapes has a six per cent alcohol content while the Rosé from Hawke’s Bay and the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc each have an alcohol content of only nine per cent.
“I love the fact that I don’t feel guilty having a glass or two at lunch with the girls. The Gisborne Moscato contains around half the alcohol compared to the average traditional wine.
“The other two contain around a quarter less alcohol than traditional wines – and that means a lot less calories too,” Kerre says. “You can see why lighter wines are really popular overseas, something New Zealand is embracing.”
The pale straw coloured Gisborne Moscato is a slightly sweeter wine with an intense nose of orange blossom, honeysuckle, apricot and citrus. It is fresh and flavoursome with notes of ripe juicy mandarin, apricot on the palate and packed full of flavour. Little Harvest says it’s perfect across lunch, dinner and even dessert.
The Hawke’s Bay Rosé delivers a light fruity character with more than a hint of strawberry and at only nine per cent alcohol content it's perfect for balmy days or as an aperitif. It’s a bright pink wine with brilliant clarity and a fruit forward nose with flavours of strawberries, honeysuckle and a little citrus. Little Harvest says it’s great with bright salads, strawberries or any summer dessert.
The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s exotic fruit characters and hints of fresh citrus mean it's ideal with an asparagus risotto, lighter fare or simply on its own. A warm summer in Marlborough produced fruit fully ripened and full of flavour ideal for early harvest. Pale lemon with a hint of green the aroma is of cut grass, fresh citrus and hints of pineapple on a crisp and fresh dry palate with lively acidity.
The Little Harvest range has an RRP of $19.99 per bottle and is available from select New World supermarkets and independent wine retailers. For more information on Little Harvest including stockists see www.littleharvest.co.nz.
 Average alcohol percentage of Top 10 supermarkets wines is 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Aztec Scan Data: Total Supermarkets Total Still Wine Dollar Sales MAT to 11/08/2013