Davina Catt x Skinny Witch Prosecco
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Davina Catt x Skinny Witch Prosecco

Did you know that most bottles of Prosecco you drink contain roughly 40g of sugar – that is around 7 to 8 teaspoons full.

As someone whose had gut and skin problems as well as acute anxiety re-triggered by lockdown angst, sugar is something I have long (with difficulty) tried to reduce in my diet. I had given up though with alcohol – trying everything including non-alcoholic brands (which I found just replaced taste/alcohol with extra sugar) – and concluded that wasn’t really possible and better to choose ‘bubbly’, which at least was less calorific. Enter Skinny Witch: a unique, new low sugar Prosecco with a difference: at 0.86g of sugar per litre (at time of writing) with absolutely no compromise on taste. And a certified DOCG brand. (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, DOCG – the highest designation of quality under Italian wine)

Skinny Witch is one part of a new portfolio of award-winning alcohol brands, House of Skull X, devised by the innovative and impressive, Aman Chopra. Having travelled extensively around the world, around 11 years ago he started, as a personal passion, accruing exclusive spirits from their homelands as he went along. Chopra would return to the UK and notice how far divorced many of the mainstream alcohol products were – one trip that stands out was to Slovakia (one of the countries Vodka originated) for ice fishing, where their guide suggested buying vodka from a local store as it is believed in Eastern Europe to have warming effects. Over the years he kept revisiting the local distilleries to find out more about the process and whether they could produce on a large scale (this a handicraft style industry, they couldn’t).

For Chopra the idea was ignited to turn his passion into a full time portfolio that aims at bringing back artisanship, storytelling and quality (over quantity) into a curated selection of alcohol brands. Skull X vodka was the first to launch – using a master distiller in Slovakia with grain as the base ingredient (for character and flavour) and source water from the Tetra mountains containing no chemicals so the process is fully sustainable and recycled.

Chopra and his family team then turned their attention to a new challenge: Prosecco. Having studied and researched around its history – UK is one of the largest consumers of prosecco in the world – they noticed that makers couldn’t meet demand so were mass producing using any grapes and loading up on sugar and sediment to achieve the taste.

Skinny Witch instead is processed to DOCG standards – through a vineyard and distillery in the exclusive Northern Italy area, using only the highest quality grapes, which Skull X pick one batch from at the right time, fermented and at their prime. For instance, for the first batch they secured 60-65% of entire harvest production of vineyard, whilst everything is done to spec to ensure there is no variation in quality of product coming through. They currently have enough stock to last till July and will wait even if there is a delay till September until the next harvest to ensure no compromise on taste or quality.

The family run vineyard in Italy is one of the original members of the prosecco council – they still pick all grapes by hand – and promote artisan learning through an apprenticeship programme offering education on how to go about a traditional prosecco making process.

Whilst the body states that prosecco can traditionally have 15% permitted varieties to be called prosecco, Skinny Witch produces two types: a White Prosecco which is 100% Glera grape (the original prosecco grape dating back to ancient roman times) and Rose prosecco, which is 85% glera grape and 15% pinot noir(to DOC – Denomination of Controlled Origin standards).

With Skull X everything is a natural process – grapes picked exactly down to the finest timing to produce the most natural sweetness, fermented and tanked for 60 days, and importantly no sugar added to replace missing sediment (this is usually the case in prosecco and champagne). And whilst prosecco by law has to have a minimum of 11% alcohol, this means that the Skinny Witch bottles calories are all just from alcohol. Win, win!

Speaking to Chopra is truly like an educational masterclass in alcohol. He has a micro distillery at home where he spends much of his time between production, researching and playing around with processes and flavours – House of Skull X won The Spirit Business masters award in 2019.

Future plans include this year producing Skull X Edition 2 – a vodka with a reducing of alcohol by 50% (if its produced to this standard no one needs the amount of alcohol currently in products), as well as natural fruit flavours, a panama rum is in also in development using traditional techniques, and scotch, Indian and Japanese whiskeys coming soon.

Of course all low in sugar, never compromising in taste and quality AND whilst telling an educational story.https://www.houseofskullx.com/skinny witch bottles