Lighter Options Wines - Let's keep our standards low!


As the silly season rapidly approaches I think it's apt to approach the sometimes tricky situation of standard drinks vs standard pour - as a lot of people don't realise that the two things are actually quite different.

One standard drink is actually only about 100mls of wine and a standard pour in a bar or restaurant is 150mls. That means one glass of wine is actually one and a half "standard" drinks. Ok but what does that mean? Don't worry, I'm here to break it down for you.

The measurement of a standard drink is simply based on what your body, specifically your liver, is capable of processing and your body (yes, everyone's body) is only capable of processing one standard drink every hour. I know we all know someone who we believe is capable of handling a lot more (or a lot less) than that, but the science says that 10mls of pure alcohol = 1 standard drink = a processing time of one hour. For wine, as I mentioned, that equates to (more of less) 100mls of standard strength (13-13.5%) wine per hour.

So next time you head out for a wine and you think you're ok to drive as you've only had a couple of wines, remember that two wines is actually three standard drinks. This is the one and only time I advocate for keeping your standards low!

So at a time of year when there seems to be a party, end of year celebration, catch up or something else every other night of the week and if you're not catching up with friends for a BBQ (Hurrah summer is here) you're playing host yourself, I think it's a good idea to look at some of the lighter wine options out there, if you don't feel like abstaining (which remember is also an option!). Grab some of these to bring around to friends houses or have them in the fridge if mates are coming around. Remember - good friends - provide the beverages, great friends - don't let mates drink and drive!

But wait a moment I hear you holler - lower alc wine? Ewh! Isn't that stuff awful!? Ya know what, I will agree that once upon a time it most certainly was, but not anymore. There is a real commitment by the wineries, particularly the big wineries to make great quality, lighter option wines and ya know what's even better about lighter alcohol wines? They're usually lower in calories too, and at a time of year when calories abound, how can that be a bad thing?

I don't recommend anything I don't think is good and these wines are good, they're also not expensive and widely available in supermarkets nationwide. Pick up a few mid strength beers like Mac's Mid Tempo or Steinlager Mid while you're there and everyone will be happy.

I wasn't kidding when I said these wines were good quality - the Stoneleigh Lighter Sauvignon Blanc 2017 just won a gold medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show and that's saying something. This wine is 9.6% alcohol and is off dry and is what I would describe as a typical Marlborough Sauvvy - and I mean that as a compliment! This wine is full of fresh citrus and passionfruit with that capsicum quality we have all come to know and love in our Sauv. We all know a Sauvignon Blanc lover so grab one of these for only $16 to have in the fridge when they pop round. Enjoy chilled with any kind of seafood.


For those with a sweeter tooth the Villa Maria Private Bin Lighter Pinot Gris 2016 from Marlborough will definitely hit the spot. This wine is 9.5% and smells like flower blossoms and tastes like ripe pears with just hints of spice. Super moreish and the medium sweetness makes is perfect with thai food or if you're serving up some spring rolls to share. $14 and widely available.

You just cannot have a list that talks about summer without including a Rosé and my favourite of the lighter styles is the Wither Hills Early Light Pinot Noir Rose 2017. Summer defined this wine is watermelon pink with the smells and flavours we have come to know and love in our Rosé - strawberries and raspberries. Yum. Pack this one in the picnic basket as I think it pretty much goes with anything and that's not too shabby for a wine that will only set you back $15. This wine is 9.5% and is the driest of my picks.

Hope you enjoy these wines and remember, lighter in alcohol is still alcohol and alcohol like all drugs should be treated with respect and used in moderation.

Lets make some awesome choices this silly season, lets look out for each other this summer and make sure we all get home safe while having tonnes of fun!

Click the link below to hear my chat with Carly Flynn on the Long Live Lunch