Quite often, when going out where I drive, I have tried some non-alcoholic beers. And to my surprise, I like them. I prefer them to other soft drink alternatives such as coke. So I wonder, are non-alcoholic wines any good. Just search ‘Are non-alcoholic wines any good’ and you will get a lot of search results. So this month I will look at some of this, as well as reviewing a red and a white non-alcoholic wine.
From the web search
From the Wine Society. “This requires more than a simple yes or no.
According to The Oxford Companion to Wine, alcohol is ‘an important, intoxicating constituent of wine.
If a winemaker wants to remove alcohol from a wine, there are several methods, with varying degrees of success; these processes sometimes also remove the aromatics and flavours that make wine such a pleasure to drink to begin with. The expensive and often heavy-handed industrial processes used to produce many ‘no-alcohol’ wines is probably why it’s rare we find any that meet The Society’s high quality standards.”
But then it just goes to a link for sales. Mostly fizzy. This seems to crop up for most of the sites that come up when you do this search, it shows sites selling their wines, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
One exception is this from Good Stuff Drinks. It explains the health benefits of not drinking too much alcoholic wines. Good to be reminded of this (I always remember what someone at Yorkshire wine school said, drink less, taste more).
The best answers to the original question was from The Wine Spectator.
“How does de-alcoholized wine taste?
I sampled roughly a dozen de-alcoholized wines, from Ariel, Fre and other producers. The tasting was non-blind. As a group, I would describe them more as alternative beverages with wine-like elements rather than wine substitutes. Several seemed notably sweet. The wines that showed some sweetness often included candied fruit, fruit cocktail or even daiquiri-like flavors.”
Onto tasting two that I had with Mary. Don’t know the prices unfortunately, but normally around £3 a bottle.
Aroma: Subtle with no real fruits to identify. Slightly sweet.Paul
Taste: a bit sour not particularly nice.
Slightly sour, overall unpleasant. Lacks body, disappointing.Mary
Aroma: Very subtle as you might expect, but what aromas there were were quite pleasantPaul
Taste: Nice and fruity, a bit sweet, very refreshing
Aroma; summery, spring/summer drink, good to have chilledMary
Taste: A bit of sparkle, although not fizzy. Green grape. Went well with the pasta, would also go well with fish. A lunchtime drink
I have tried some low-alcoholic wines before (5%) of both red and white and came to the same conclusion. If you want a low or no-alcoholic wine, go for a white, avoid reds. Interesting to see that the red is not totally alcohol free, but at 0.5%. The white is good to have if you want to reduce your alcohol consumption, but if going somewhere where I am driving, I will probably stick to non-alcoholic beer.