As the weather heats up, we begin to crave more refreshment from our wines, but it can be hard to guess which bottles will deliver. Thankfully, there is a data point included on virtually all wine labels that can help predict whether a wine will feel more like lemonade and less like a cappuccino: alcohol content by volume.
Alcohol content may not tell us much when it’s in the crowded middle ground, between 13.5% and 14.5%. However, the farther a wine’s alcohol content falls below that range, the more likely it is to be made in a summery style that feels as brisk as a sea breeze.
The most refreshing wines are those with the lightest texture on the palate and the highest levels of mouthwatering acidity. Alcohol is what gives wine tactile heft, in much the same way that butter enriches the texture of a sauce. Wine’s level of tartness also has a reliable inverse relationship with alcohol, where the strongest wines are the least acidic and vice versa. This pattern can be incredibly useful for wine drinkers for finding wines that can beat the heat. You don’t need to know anything about the northern Italian region of Piedmont where this wine is from or the cortese grape from which it’s made to be able to guess that it will taste crisp, clean, and refreshing simply because it contains only 12% alcohol.
Dive into this Gavi’s tart flavors of white pineapple and green pears, and enjoy its dry, mineral finish with a plate of raw oysters.
PLCB Item #7358
Sale price through Aug. 2 — regularly $16.99
Also available at:
Total Wine & More in Claymont, Del. — $14.99
Hops & Grapes in Glassboro — $15.95
Traino’s Wine & Spirits in Mount Laurel and Voorhees — $15.97