Attention diabetics: If you long ago wrote off the idea of a soothing glass of wine with dinner, take comfort. You can bring back the sipping tradition with sugarless wines.
Uruguay's oldest winery, Vinos de la Cruz, established in 1887, produces several organic, sugarless varieties now available at the Wine Merchant and Rue Lafayette. Offerings include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Eco Colbert sparkling wine. Two new wines – a Muscat D'Hamurg rosé and a Gewürztraminer – are new for 2012 and should be available soon. Aside from the Eco Colbert, which is sweetened with stevia, the wines are dry, says importer John Rodgers of North Star Imports.
“If I was serving it to you and didn't tell you it was sugarless, you'd never know,” Rodgers says. “Customers who've enjoyed it by the glass at Rue Lafayette are giving no indication that they feel they're missing anything in the wine experience.”
That may be because the wines weren't originally conceived and developed for diabetics. The lack of sugars was a happy accident, the result of the winery's special composting process. Organic chicken compost encourages the grapevines to produces a specific yeast that consumes nearly all the sugars during fermentation. Natural sugars that are high in many other wines – fructose, glucose and sucrose – are present only in negligible amounts in Vinos de la Cruz wines.
“What people found is that consumption of these wines doesn't affect blood glucose levels,” says Rodgers. Diabetics can safely consume up to two glass per day with no ill effects. In fact, the wines are approved for use by diabetics by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture, among other agencies.
Vinos de la Cruz sugarless wines are normally priced between $14.99 and $29.99, but the distributor is offering introductory North American pricing of $11.99 for Cabernet Sauvignon, $24.99 for Eco Colbert and $29.99 for Malbec. The wines are available by the glass or bottle at Rue Lafayette.
Vino de la Cruz at The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, winemerchantltd.com; and Rue Lafayette, 2026 Lafayette Ave., Lafayette Square, ruelafayette.us