By Pat Brazzier

The general lack of innovation in the wine category and the slowdown in the RTD sector, due partly to the rise in taxation last year, has signalled the arrival of a number of low alcohol wine-based brands hoping to attract young, female drinkers.

Following successful trials, Bacardi-Martini are to launch Coomira Coast spritzer, a mix of New World Chardonnay, sparkling water and berry flavours. The brand, (5.0% abv/27.5 and 70.0cl bottles with crown caps) will be available from early August.

New from the producers of Blue Nun is Slinky (5.5% abv/27.5cl crown caps) a mix of wine and citrus is the first drink of its kind in the UK associated with a popular wine brand. It is aimed at 18 to 30 year-old females frequenting bars and clubs.

Scottish Courage has also recently announced its first venture into the RTD category with the launch of a fruit flavoured sparkling wine, targeting females currently consuming RTDs and wine. Bliss (5.5% abv/27.5cl) with two variants, Bliss Berries and Bliss Exotic, is a fusion of California Chardonnay mixed with fruit juices and sparkling water, initially unleashed into 100 bars and late-night venues on the Newcastle circuit with a national roll-out planned for later in the year.

Earlier this year Chesterfield based GBL International, owners of the VK vodka range, introduced a new range of low alcohol flavoured sparkling wines. Cavela is a blend of sparkling Spanish wine and juices aimed solely at the female market. It is available in 5.5% abv/20.0cl single-serve bottles with three variants - lemon, orange and passion fruit. The sparkling wine used in Cavela has been sourced from a major Spanish Cava producer.

Pat Brazzier is of P.A.S.H. Beverage Research