04/09/2015 6:50 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Low-Alcohol Wines Win Big In Australian Wine Vintages

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Man sitting at end of banquet table outside in field laughing holding glass of wine

If you put low-alcohol wine in the ‘Why Bother’ category along with decaf coffee and low-fat dessert, think again, because Australia’s premiere wine taster says it’s actually pretty good.

The annual Australian Wine Vintages book and app launched this week and Master of Wine Rob Geddes said there was a strong trend towards low-alcohol wines.

“Australians are exceptional at making low-alcohol wine,” Geddes said.

“The Hunter Valley Semillons and Rieslings are often at about 10.5 percent alcohol -- the light, dry, crisp whites.”

Geddes said low-alcohol wine had different qualities to full-bodied wine.

“There’s a delicacy with low-alcohol wine,” Geddes said.

“When you drink a higher alcohol wine, you notice it in the body. That tip-of-the-tongue mouthfeel is dominated by higher alcohol wine. It’s warmer, fleshier, sweeter.

“Low-alcohol wine has a lightness. It dances on the tongue, as opposed to wanting to dance with your feet.”

He said the interest in low-alcohol wine stemmed from dieters, healthy living advocates and those who simply liked the flavour.

“It’s a societal shift where you’re getting the Weight Watchers people and that genre of healthy endeavour. They you’ve got the greying baby boomers who don’t want to get the beer belly any more.

“Low-alcohol wine is benefiting at beer’s expense.”

If you wanted to try a low-alcohol wine after your next yoga class, Geddes suggested a Hunter Valley Semillon, a light Riesling or an Italian red like a Sangiovese.