A lower-alcohol and sweeter-tasting wine has joined the Banrock Station portfolio to attract drinkers who are reluctant to move into the category.

The Australian brand - part of Constellation Wines' portfolio - is adding a 9% abv Crimson Cabernet Sauvignon to its range.

The wine has already gained a listing at Sainsbury's - which launched its own lower-alcohol wine this year - and it will be priced at £4.79.

In addition to its lower alcohol, it is described as being slightly spritzed and has sweet cherry and plum fruit flavours.

Constellation's vice president of brands marketing, Clare Griffiths, said: "We found a number of drinkers out there who wanted to come into the category but they were put off by high alcohol. We saw an opportunity for a lower-alcohol wine combined with a slightly sweeter style."

Griffiths agreed that existing wine drinkers were more aware of the alcoholic strength of wines, which often range between 13 and 15% abv. She said that, while this awareness may attract some wine fans to try the new Banrock Station variant, the company hoped most volume would come from new consumers.

Sainsbury's senior wine buyer Julian Dyer said products branded as 'low alcohol' hadn't done very well historically but he believed a market was growing for wines that delivered the tastes of the higher strength varieties but with slightly lower alcohol.

"This is the market I'm interested in because I think there are big opportunities there. It's partly a lifestyle choice whereby people can enjoy a couple of glasses of wine without feeling the effects in the same way, and it's partly a responsible retailing issue."

Dyer said Sainsbury's was hoping to extend its own label range of lower-alcohol wines, following the success of its Semillon Sauvignon blend launched earlier this year.