Lower Alcohol Wines for Summertime

Adam Arlen

, Happy Hour

It is August and the temperature is hot! The last thing you will want in your glass is a big, heavy, full bodied wine. It will weigh you down and higher alcohol levels will make the temperature outside feel even hotter than it is. Here are some options that are lighter in alcohol and do not hold back on flavor.


Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde comes from Portugal and shares its northern border with Spain. Heavily influenced by the Atlantic, the wines are fresh and vibrant. Vino Verde is the largest wine region in Portugal and represents 15% of the nation’s vineyard acreage.

The main grape here is Alvarinho, Albarino in Spain, and shares some similarities with its neighbor to the north in Rias Baixas in Spain. These light, fresh wines are lower in alcohol and are slightly sparkling due to carbon dioxide being injected during bottling.


2018 Joao Portugal Ramos Vinho Verde Alvarinho

The wine is a medium lemon color with intense aromas of white grapefruit zest combined with flint and floral notes of paper whites. This 100% varietal Alvarhino is elegant and engaging, with a touch of white peach skin on the palate and a long mineral finish. The partial barrel fermentation rounds out angular edges. Pick it up for under $20.



Located in the Loire Valley in France, Chinon produces the best and most cellar-worthy reds of the region and sets the benchmark for Cabernet Franc. Raspberry and tobacco dominate the nose with silky tannin and shows an aromatic freshness that carries through the glass on the finish. Red and rose wines are made from Cabernet Franc.


2017 Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon Reserve

A wood-aged wine from old vines, it combines good concentration and a firm tannic backbone with the red fruits and light acidity.


2018 Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon Rose

Nice cherry red color. Powerful nose of vanilla, coffee, dried fruit, spice and perfumed blackberry. Soft tannin with a full body and a long finish.

You can pick them both up for under $20 at your favorite fine wine retailer.



Banner and feature images courtesy Pixabay.com



Adam Arlen, Sommelier


Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”





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