Discovery: Weight Watchers Wine

When I wrote about five British foods and drink traditions I'd like to see more of in America, I did not include Weight Watchers wine, which I saw for the first time during a recent trip to London.

I don't know if Weight Watchers wine is available in the U.S. as well, but the fact that it's so widely present in the English capital's supermarkets (which, after a cursory survey, seem to carry comparatively fewer other types of WW products) makes me wonder if the Brits are picky when it comes to cutting calories.

Whereas we Americans (and I recognize the huge generalization I'm making here) often welcome reduced-fat/lite/diet versions of all of our favorite foods, the good people of England, perhaps, are less willing to overhaul their entire diet. Just a hypothesis.

Anyway, I certainly had to buy this wine, even though I am not watching my weight nor am I particularly fond of rosé (the ubiquitous WW variety in UK markets). I should also note that I could count on one hand the number of other WW products I've tried, for as a teenager of the '90s, I was more on the Snackwell's bandwagon.

I expected as much from the WW rosé as I did from, say, the Skinnygirl Margarita, which is to say, not much. Like Skinnygirl lower-calories cocktails, WW rosé is overly sweet, perhaps in an attempt to appease (real) sugar-deprived diets. But unlike Bethanny's booze, WW wine seems incapable of producing intoxication. Yes, yes, it is technically alcoholic (8.3 percent by volume), but from personal experience (comprising two trials on separate evenings), I can tell you that consuming almost three mini-bottles made me actually more capable operating heavy machinery. I felt alert, sharp -- disturbingly so, such that after one of my informal WW wine tastings, I made an extensive Excel spreadsheet charting my travel costs for the reminder of the year. Yikes.

I had still consumed a few hundred calories, which, if they were only going to make me hyper, might have been spent on a more nutritious beverage, such as pomegranate juice. Can it be that British women in general have a lower (i.e., normal) tolerance for for alcohol?

No, don't think so.

So, I have no use for WW wine, whose only virtue remains its foreign novelty. Too bad, however, I can't send a case back in time to Betty Draper. I would love to see her drink a gallon or so in an attempt to drown out her post-Don-divorce woes.

Anybody seen Weight Watchers wine in stores here?

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joanna O'Leary