Low alcohol wines have always been something of a disappointment to many of us over the years. This has been down to the techniques employed to make them not being able to reproduce the flavours and complexity you would get from a normal wine. There is, however, a new low alcohol wine to hit the UK shelves this summer (http://www.decanter.com/news/283843.html).
Plume, the lowest alcohol wine currently on the market, comes in at only nine percent. Produced at the Domaine de la Colombette in the Languedoc by Vincent and Francois Pugibet, it is made using a process known as reverse osmosis. This is a method of filtration which can be used to remove many things from wine, but in this instance it’s only a reduction in the level of alcohol they are seeking.
Plume hit the headlines several years ago, after signing a deal with Tesco to stock its wine in the UK. However, the French wine authorities argued that wine produced using this technique could not be legally exported as French wine. As a result it was immediately recalled.
Lodging an appeal, Plume argued its case on two grounds. Firstly, they stated that the wine was not being exported as the UK is a member of the European Union, and secondly that from the 1st August 2009 the reverse osmosis technique will be classed as a legitimate experimental technique for wine production. Unsurprisingly they won.
Let’s hope that after this wait the wine lives up to the hype surrounding it and that the filtration method used only reduces the alcohol level and doesn’t strip out the flavours of the wine itself!