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When Light is Right

With the indulgences of the holidays behind us, January is often a time of cutting back - on sugar, on calories, and even on alcohol.

Fortunately, there are many delicious options that take all of these choices into consideration - and you'll find a display of them by the Customer Service desk at the front of the store.

Cupcake offers several "lighthearted" wines with less than 1 gram of sugar and only 80 calories per 5-oz serving. With the tagline "everything you want, none of what you don't," the wines can be a lifestyle home run. They're vegan-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, with natural sugars and no flavor additives. We carry the full line: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, and Rose.

Fitvine is another choice for folks looking to cut down on sugar without compromising flavor. Through a process of extended fermentation and triple filtration, Fitvine wines average less than a gram of sugar per 5-oz serving and are lower in sulfites. They're also gluten-free and vegan friendly, so they "fit" your lifestyle.

Looking to lose the alcohol altogether while still enjoying wine? Check out the Ariel Alcohol-Removed Chardonnay or some of the Fre wines in the display. Ariel dealcoholized wines have been around since the late 1980s, setting the standard for what's possible. The wines are made using traditional methods, then go through a cold filtration reverse osmosis to take about nearly 100% of the alcohol while retaining flavor and health benefits. They contain about one-third of the calories, too.

Fre's wines are made in a similar way, with the end results yielding wines that taste like traditional wines but have almost no alcohol, about 70 calories per 8-oz serving, and are also gluten-free and vegan friendly.

If cocktails are more your thing, we have some pre-made offerings from Skinny Girl. Cider is an option for you, too. Nine Pin makes a light cider, and there's also a combo pack of Strongbow "Slim Cans" weighing in at just 100 calories/8.5-oz can. Looking for something light for after dinner? Bailey's makes a "Deliciously Light" offering that contains 40% less calories and 40% less sugar than original Bailey's, with all the flavor. There are even some low-cal, low-carb Bota Box Breeze selections.

As for me, I'm fortunate to not have dietary restrictions that necessitate these choices, and I haven't tried any of the lighter or dealcoholized products. But, hey, lower sugar, calories, carbs with great flavor? Those are solid wins going into a new year. Happy January 2022!