Fri 19 Dec 2014

Non-Alcohol & Low-Alcohol Options From The Showroom


The deadline for Christmas delivery is now past, but our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage will be open up until Christmas Eve for those nearby or able to make a last-minute trip. We look forward to seeing you. You can view our opening times here.

Recently I recommended a rather higher-alcohol option for members seeking a little Christmas spirit; however, whilst it is certainly the season to be jolly, watching one’s intake of everything indulgent is always something to be aware of. And of course we need not overlook those who have to drive or choose not to drink.

Christmas haloFor those watching their units, or abstaining completely, here are a few options – all of which are currently available from The Showroom.

Non-alcoholic options
For those not drinking alcohol, the James White Suffolk Bramley Apple Juice and Cox Apple Juice (both £2.25 per bottle) are great non-alcoholic drinks and can easily be spiced up with the addition of mulling spices and/or even warmed up a little. The Thorncroft Elderflower Cordial (£2.50 per half) brings a slice of summer and lifts a fruit trifle with its floral notes. An effervescent offering can also be found in Gratien & Meyer Festillant Sparkling Sans Alcool (£4.25 per bottle), a sparkling wine has the alcohol quite literally spun out it by a centrifuge, but still retaining a lovely off-dry quality.

Green Ridge Chardonnay Spring (£2.50 per bottle), a blend of spring water, chardonnay and grape juice, delivers a modest 0.5% with a lovely lemony tinge.

Lower-alcohol options
However, lowering one’s alcohol intake need not involve adding lemonade or soda to our drinks, and there’s an array of bottles that not only provide palate-pleasing moments but also offer an alternative to dilution at this time of year.

Our frothy and off-dry Moscato d’Asti, Elio Perrone 2013 (£7.50) will charm you with its sweet-fruited effervescence, and at a conveniently low 5% ABV.

If seeking out lighter reds, 12%-alcohol options include the easy-drinking Pinot Noir, Vin de France, Jacques Dépagneux 2011 (£5.95) from France’s upper Aude Valley and the ripe Beaujolais-Villages, Château de Lacarelle 2013 (£7.95). These would both make great lunch options in the winter months.

Ockfen Bockstein Riesling Kabinett von Kesselstatt 2013 from The Wine Society

I’ve stocked up on the 8%-alcohol Ockfen Bockstein Riesling Kabinett 2013 from von Kesselstatt

For whites, The Society’s Côtes de Gascogne (£6.25) and the aromatic Bruwer’s Dry Mountain Muscat, Robertson 2014 (£5.95) from South Africa both offer lots of pleasure at under 11%. A quartet of dry favourites which weigh in at 11.5% can be found in the form of Piemonte Cortese 2013 (the Gavi grape in a lighter, easy-sipping style; £5.75), Val de Loire Sauvignon Blanc, Bougrier 2013 (a party sauvignon from the Loire; £5.95), The Society’s Vinho Verde (a smoked-fish-friendly delight; £6.25) and the gewurztraminer-esque Hilltop Estates Cserszegi 2013 (£5.95) from Hungary.

Lastly and definitely not least, the lower-alcoholic nature of many German wines is well documented and the delicate flavours make them, for me, perfect aperitif. I recommend The Society’s Saar Riesling (9.5%, £9.50) or Ruppertsberger Hoheburg Riesling Kabinett 2013 (10.5%, £6.95). I have personally stocked up on Ockfen Bockstein Riesling Kabinett von Kesselstatt 2013 (8%, £12.95), which I’ll enjoy while peeling my parsnips and blanching my brussels in preparation for the main event!

I hope this demonstrates that lowering alcohol need not mean lowering enjoyment.

Whatever you’re drinking, I hope you have a fun, safe and Merry Christmas.

Conrad Braganza
The Cellar Showroom

Categories : Miscellaneous

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