The wine world suffers another setback. Too bad especially for Spain just few days after the VAT increase which was already enough bad news. This time, news reaches us from Europe and regarding labeling. Since now on it is prohibited to use statements alluding to health claims on beverages containing more than 1,2% by volume of alcohol.
It all started by a German wine cooperative that marketed its wines under the words "easily digestible". Good for the digestion, exactly as the Spanish traditional yellow herbs shots (“chupitos de hierbas”) but with less alcohol and a different colour.
The European Court of Justice believes that the consumption habits of the population could be influenced by such statements with the resulting risk to their health.
I, as uncompromising defender of the Mediterranean diet, think that a glass of wine with meals is as healthy as it can be and it gets even better when shared with friends. This situation can turn in magnificent if we happen to have a really good wine on the table.
Of course, the context must include forgetting about to cook with butter, use olive oil, eat plenty of vegetables and fruit (at least five portions a day), forget the stress if possible and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. If in addition we can nap then we can almost be sure that we will live a hundred years.
However, the key to everything is moderation. Perhaps these unfortunate Germans did not have any bad intention to induce people to start drinking, it might have just been their particular way of express in terms of pairings, which are now so fashionable, what their wine meant. But they went wrong and now all wines have to pay for it.
But of course, there are always those who escape the burning, like all those wineries who have signed up to the new wave of low-alcohol wines among which there are some with less alcohol content than 1%, as the Blue Nun Low Alcohol: 0.5% or the Californian Fre (very good one indeed) which not even reach that 1% alcohol content. There are other wines halfway, as some Australian like Banrok with 5% alcohol and the premise "light” on the label.
You cannot say anything about these wines without tasting them first so, without neglecting our favorites, we can open our minds to non-alcoholic wines and add some to our collection. I recommend:
Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2008, one the the spanish classics
Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2010, a brand new wine