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Less Alcohol, Maximum Enjoyment

There are plenty of excellent reasons you might want a wine that’s a little lower in alcohol.

But none of those reasons are important enough for you to compromise your enjoyment! Fortunately, there are some great options if you want to enjoy a lower alcohol wine that still has plenty of engaging, complex and balanced flavours to offer.

The wines we’re going to talk about today are about 2.5% lower in alcohol than a typical bottle made from the same grapes. Now, a 2.5% change might not seem like much, but over the course of a bottle, it can make a big difference. So, if you want to enjoy a lower alcohol wine that was made in a vineyard, not a laboratory, stop by one of our shops in Arnotts or Mullingar and have a taste (from Monday, July 17th).

Paddy Borthwick with Gareth Keogh of Wines Direct


Paddy Borthwick Riesling 10% ABV

Paddy Borthwick is a firm favourite with Wines Direct customers and staff alike. His wines are excellent and he’s a bit of a maverick. Despite coming from a family of sheep and cattle farmers, he decided to start making wine on his family estate. After studying oenology, he worked with winemakers in Europe, learning his craft in the vineyards of France and Switzerland. This experience, along with his instinctual approach to winemaking, has made him into one of New Zealand’s most respected winemakers.

Paddy Borthwick’s Riesling has plenty to recommend it apart from its lower alcohol content (which comes in at a mere 10%). It’s a different take on the grape, so while you can expect the typical Riesling rubber aroma, there are also ginger, citrus and apple scents. Apricots, hints of orchard fruit and marmalade flavours emerge throughout the profound and lingering finish. And related to the wine’s lower alcohol level, there is some residual sugar that gives a subtle, sweet lift to this off-dry Riesling.

Antolini Valpolicella Classico 11.5% ABV

This Valpolicella produced by Pier Paolo Antolini on a relatively small vineyard of just 7.5 hectares. Antolini’s vineyard is located on stony ground in the town of Marano. Before it can be cultivated, this land needs to be cleared of stones, making every square meter precious. Antolini appreciates this and treats every vine with care and attention. The results speak for themselves.

Like the Riesling, Pier Paolo Antolini’s Valpolicella has a lot more going for it than just low alcohol (which is very low for a red with this much character: just 11.5%). It’s a great example of a Valpolicella – a fruity, light-hearted wine with a long and enjoyably refreshing finish. The delicate tannins and smooth mouthfeel join plumy flavours to make this wine great on its own or with tomato-based sauces.

Pier Paolo Antolini clearing stones from his vineyard in preparation for the vines for his Valpolicella

If you’ve ever wanted something interesting to drink that’s a little bit lower in alcohol either Paddy Borthwick Riesling or Antolini Valpolicella Classico would be great choices. From Monday the 17th of July both of these wines will be open for tasting at our shops in Mullingar and Arnotts. Stop by and have a taste to see how you can have lower alcohol without compromising how much you enjoy the wine.