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How the Other Half Live: Skinny Champagne

October 17th 2013 / Christa D'Souza

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If you like alcohol but hate the calories, Christa D'Souza has discovered a champagne brand that goes even easier on your waistline than vodka

Which alcoholic beverage — don’t you just love the word beverage? — has the least calories? Vodka, obviously. Hence the Skinny Bitch (vodka, soda water and a twist of lime).

Thing is, supposing, like me, you think of vodka as being a bit hardcore? I have a friend who had a friend in rehab who used to mix it with Benylin cough syrup and for some reason, that image has always stuck. My children, meanwhile, think it is very weird, the idea of their mother drinking vodka. Especially if she orders more than one.

So then, this dilemma of maintaining one’s, um, girlish figure and being a highly functioning alcoholic. What to do, what to do? Red wine gives one red veins, white wine is just too clichéd for words (don’t even talk about rose it’s WAY too fattening), so really there is only one alternative left… and that is champagne.

But I don’t LIKE champagne. Or “poo” as we used to call it in the early ’90s. It reminds me too much of all those dreaded press launches I had to go to when I first started out in magazines, all those over made-up PR ladies with lipstick on their teeth and slightly skew-whiff hair-dos and so forth…

At least, I didn’t think I liked it until a bottle of the stuff arrived on my doorstep the other morning to try out. Produced by the French artisan winemaker Alexandre Penet and launched by ex BBC broadcaster Amanda Thomson, No Added Sugar (Low Dosage) Skinny Champagne: I seriously think it is going to be the NEW THING.

Part of the reason I’ve never liked champagne is the sick-y breath it gives you straight afterwards. There’s also the stonking headache you can get the day after if it’s not super, super expensive. But here’s the thing. Because this Grande Cuvee champagne is so very, very very BRUT, you don’t get the sickly sweet taste and nor do you wake up feeling you need to take the whole day off or you seriously might die. More importantly, IT IS ONLY 78 CALORIES A GLASS (a bit less than a single shot of vodka).

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We had it last night at dinner and although it might not have been quite butch enough for my friend James, us ladies, we loved it, got p****d on it and woke up perfectly able to cope with the new day. And you should see the artfully designed boxes! Perfect for recycling at Christmas!

Does that sound like a champagne for the ladies? Like that beastly despicable marketing campaign by Bic to make “comfortable” pink and purple pens “just for her”? Well, it shouldn’t. Forget my friend James, it is perfectly robust enough to serve at the most manliest of dinners, with the considerable upside of not making one’s breath smell like vomit.

That said, doesn’t the idea of ‘Low Dosage’ for women kind of make sense given that it’s been clinically proven that we cannot biologically keep up with men on the alcohol front? And another thing. I’m tub-thumping here, but with the mounting evidence that sugar is actually the crack cocaine of the 21st century, I think we should all — man, woman, rough-haired terrier — be cutting down wherever we can.

Look. I’m beginning to make it sound like medicine. It is SO NOT. It’s delicious, it’s crisp, it’s expensive tasting, indeed the thought of the bottle nicely chilling in the fridge is about the only thing that is getting me through this rather rainy miserable day. I have a suggestion though.

Could they possibly make it in little bottles? Given the stingy amount of calories, the overall deliciousness and the lack of hangover one gets from it (not to mention my inability to start anything without finishing to the bitter end) it could become a bit of a worry. Just saying, that’s all.




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