Continued from Part 2 Wine Diet
Within two weeks of announcing their new low-carb wines, Brown-Forman received orders for more than 200,000 cases.
The beer market has had similar success: since Michelob Ultra low-carb beer was launched in 2002, it has become Anheuser-Busch’s fastest-growing brand ever. Low calorie light beers comprise about 40% of the U.S. beer market.
Is it even worth trying to save a couple of carbohydrates by drinking these wines? While every carb may count for some dieters, carbs from wine represent a small fraction of the total 50 to 60 carbs recommended in the Atkins Diet.
Other winemakers are exploring low-calorie products. In 2003, the Australian winery Swaying Willow launched a wine that Bridget Jones would love: a diet chardonnay, with most of the alcohol spun out in a centrifuge.
It has just 35 calories per five-ounce glass, and 1.2% alcohol. Several wine critics who’ve tasted it say that it lacks both body and taste.
Weight Watchers partnered with McWilliams Wines to launch its own label of low-alcohol wines in the U.K., with just 80 calories per glass. Its grapes for the come from a cool climate region where the fruit doesn’t reach high levels of ripeness or sweetness.
The wine is worth just one point out of the daily twenty points that Weight Watchers allows its dieters, as compared to one-and-a-half points for all other wines.
A low-cal bubbly seems like a rather niche market; and yet, two French champagne houses—Laurent Perrier (Ultra Brut) and Piper Heidsieck (Brut Savage)—have produced low-alcohol styles.
According to Joan Oliphant-Fraser, author of The Champagne Diet and also a Dame Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, some of the biggest fans are racing jockeys who have to keep their weight down but still want to celebrate their victories in style.
Of course, when it comes to wine, moderation is key. Drinking more than one or two glasses a day will pile on the calories, as well as increasing your chances of liver damage and other health problems.
But let’s look at it the other way around: If we cut down on the fatty foods and sugary drinks, there’s plenty of dietary room for a glass or two of good wine a day.
Such moderate tippling uses up only about 6% of our recommended caloric intake, leaving plenty for other nutrients alongside our wine.
And when it comes to eating raw carrot sticks and skinless chicken, a little vino sure makes life more palatable.
Bridget Jones may not have known that, but Renée Zellweger, who played the character, appears to have.
She shed thirty pounds after filming for the movie was finished.
My secret hope is that she was still drinking chardonnay when the cameras stopped rolling.