Pizza Express has added low calorie and low alcohol red and white wines to its Leggera range to appeal to customers watching their weight or alcohol intake and help fulfil its healthy eating commitment to the Food Standards Agency.
At 9% ABV for the Leggera Pinot Bianco and 9.5% ABV for the Leggera Sangiovese, a 175ml glass of Leggera is 87 calories and has been designed to compliment the Italian restaurant chain's Leggera pizzas, a 500 calorie pizza and salad combination it introduced last year.
Master of Wine Adrian Garforth, who has been a wine consultant for Pizza Express for the past six years, helped source the new wines.
He said: “Lower calorie, lower alcohol wines have been an increasingly important discussion point for both the trade and the consumer over the last few months. We’ve worked with their growers to deliver a really great tasting wine and developed a winning concept.”
Healthy eating commitment
Pizza Express was one of the five major high street restaurant chains that signed up to the Food Standards Agency's healthy eating commitment in May last year.
Some of the measures the restaurant chains have undertaken include reducing salt levels in food, in particular pizza dough, using lower-fat ingredients such as lower-fat mozzarella, increasing the range of healthier options on offer, and providing accurate nutritional data of dishes for consumers.
To make wines with a lower calorie and alcohol content, grapes are harvested at an earlier stage which keeps sugar levels low and therefore does not allow the alcohol to develop as fully. However, some critics say taste can be compromised. Pizza Express's Leggera Sangiovese has been blended with Sicilian Merlot to fill out the fruit profile.
Pizza Express has introduced the Leggera wines at 370 branches across the country with a bottle price of £16.55. Both wines will also be sold by the glass in 175ml and 250ml measures.