By Linda Hall
For all you keto people out there — it's time to celebrate — at last there are keto wines for you to enjoy.
Carl Hayes, who opened Cellar Ahuriri, was introduced to the keto diet by friends while on a trip to Australia.
"I took some time to head to Melbourne (without expecting the travel bubble to burst) in the middle of this year. The goal was to establish an agency representing some really great New Zealand wineries and to use my contacts from the restaurant industry in Sydney and Melbourne to introduce them to a more boutique offering," Carl said.
"The idea was to be back and forth between New Zealand and Australia while I could, but now I'm trapped in Melbourne.
"Given the extended lockdowns over here the keto diet and the keto-friendly wines have proved very useful in 'trying' to maintain my weight."
He says keto wines are perfect for the health-conscious person as they are low in sugar.
Readers might remember Carl from Deco City Cellars in Napier.
"We were on the lookout for a permanent space and have found a great spot in Ahuriri Village, opposite the Whale's Tail in the courtyard of Miss Browne's.
"Cellar Ahuriri has continued to grow, offering wine classes, in-home wine education classes and growing the international wine selection. We've also recently received an on-licence which opens the opportunities for hosting events.
"We would argue that we've got the most diverse and interesting selection of wines in Hawke's Bay. When alert levels change, we'll be one of the starting points for the Hawke's Bay Wine Walk in Ahuriri.
"You might ask what is Keto wine? A lot of wines on the market are already 'keto-friendly' wine. Our standards are anything that's 0.25 grams of sugar per 150ml glass. We've tightened up our offering to include low sulphur. Technically anything under 100ppm total SO2 is low sulphur.
"We've taken our wines to an independent lab to verify the sugar and sulphur content, and we'll put a gold sticker of approval on each bottle to verify and stand behind what we do.
"Of our selection, our wines on average are less than <0.10 grams of sugar per 150ml glass of wine [1 gram of sugar = 1 gram of carbohydrates].
"Our wines have a sulphur content which is on average, below <60ppm total S02. We've also gone a step further to include the criteria that the wines must be biodynamic, organic and/or sustainable … and vegan.
"This means, we're working with a lot of suppliers, wineries (local and domestic), and finding some special international wines which fit our criteria.
"It has been a tricky exercise to find bubbles, white, rosé and red wines that fit. I'm personally familiar with most of the wines, and the ones I haven't tasted, the staff will sign off on after tasting.
"All of the keto wines will be on the shelf in Cellar, with gold stickers".