8 Insights to Non-Alcoholic Wine
And it isn’t apparent, so hold onto your wine glass!
I will be the first to admit that measures to convince me to try non-alcoholic wine failed for ages.
Simple Non-alcoholic wine would be the last thing I would try on my alcohol-free journey.
But was I believing all the nonsense written about it?
Early on in its history, though, some of it was right!
Here is the thing about Non-Alcoholic Wine
It is the same as making alcohol-based wine.
Yes, the real stuff, but there are lots of factors to take into account.
Remember, the alcohol is taken out of the wine, changing things no matter how we sell it.
So it’s never going to be the same.
But to counteract those that say it is just grape juice, it certainly is not.
The more I have tasted, the more I have come to respect alcohol-free wines.
I mean, it’s a skill, whereas most people think a load of grapes are stood on in some satanic ritual and voila!
It could not be farther from the truth.
And because it’s a skill, it one of the reasons that it is expensive.
The reality is that good alcohol-free wine matters.
I am passionate about helping people find alternatives that maybe allow them to cut back their alcohol intake.
I became seriously ill just as a social wine drinker. And that is one of the reasons I care.
So you have read about non-alcoholic glasses of wine in a lifestyle magazine, and then you look further and hear all the scary stories about it.
So you get that doubt in your head that you will ever get the taste for wine without alcohol.
I get that!
You have some serious questions to ask like:
What exactly is alcohol-free wine?
Does not that imply grape juice in a sexy bottle?
The good news is I have written 7 insights about what non-alcoholic wine is.
This will either challenge or confirm your worst fears!
8 – Non-Alcoholic or Alcoholic Free?
What’s the score with it, really?
I get it; it’s so confusing.
Officially here in the UK, we have strict guidelines, and the website drinkaware is good at explaining them.
Three categorisations apply to drinks produced in the UK:
- Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05 per cent
- De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5 per cent ABV
- Low alcohol: no more than per cent ABV
In reality, they are all interchangeable in the real world.
It is one reason I started this blog to make sure people look for 0.0 abv if that is what they choose, of course!
ABV is alcohol by volume, and for me, it’s crucial given my health issue.
I mean, it’s confusing, so does alcohol-free mean de-alcoholised? Well Yes.
Although the rules change from country to country,
When referring to a glass of wine or beverages with the alcohol eliminated, all terms can be used in the simple ordering of wine without alcohol.
Though the terms can have somewhat different definitions relying on what they describe and de-alcoholised, and where you buy your wine country you are in, non-alcoholic, alcohol-free, and de-alcoholised all indicate there is little to no alcohol in the glass of wine.
It’s for 0.0% alcohol by quantity only for me.
It’s why abv is so crucial.
7 – So is alcohol-free wine grape juice.
Go on; you think so, really!
Alcohol-Free haters say that to me all the time.
Yep, I get more prejudiced now than when I drank.
The reality of the winemaking process is somewhat different if you talk to the winemakers.
Here is the truth: if you are making alcohol-free wine, the process isn’t very different from making a regular glass of wine.
Strange but true.
A wine friend is quite adamant that it is just grape juice once the alcohol has gone.
So is that true? If you take the alcohol out of white wine, are you just left with grape juice?
Stop the press, you alcohol-free wine cynics!
Really no, it isn’t!
It’s a little bit more complex than that.
Making alcohol-free white wine isn’t different from making regular wine. First, grapes are collected from the winery, either by human hands or by the device.
But don’t you love those old wineries where they tread on the grapes.
The moment the grapes are chosen establishes the acidity, sweetness, and flavour of the white wine.
It is like the ingredient of the meal. They matter despite what the meal is called.
Then, when the grapes are gathered, they are taken to the vineyard and sorted into numbers, with rotten or under-ripe grapes gotten rid of.
The grapes are run over with what wineries call a de-stemmer, then they are crushed by a mechanical press, which raises the sanitation of the quality and creates a long life for the glass of wine.
But the magic happens next!
6 – Red and White Wines Are Different
This is where the red glass of wines as well as white wines differ.
The grapes are quickly smashed and pressed to separate the juice from the solids, skins, and seeds for white wines.
This protects against any undesirable colour or tannins from reaching right into the wine.
Nevertheless, grapes for red wines are left in contact with their skins to get more flavour, shade, and extra tannins, making the wine dry and bitter.
So it seemed red and white wines are different after all!
5 -Fermentation is a chemical reaction.
The fermentation procedure goes like this, and it’s crucial in knowing how non-alcoholic wines are made.
When sugars in the grape juice are transformed into alcohol, fermentation is at heart.
The juice that makes the non-alcoholic wine can begin fermenting naturally within 6-12 hrs when wild yeasts are in the air; nonetheless, many winemakers interfere and add an industrial yeast to ensure consistency.
It is why alcohol can happen naturally in food.
It’s just like that when you are making wine or beer; the speed is manufactured and tripled.
How do they stop the fermentation?
4- Fermentation continues till all the sugar is converted into alcohol.
For a sweeter glass of wines, winemakers will undoubtedly stop the procedure before all the sugar converts.
Depending upon the white wine, the fermentation process can last anywhere from 10 days to one month or even more.
Wine, including non-alcoholic stuff, is not cheap.
And before you say there is a different process for alcohol-free wine, there is not!
Non-alcoholic wine even goes through an ageing process like routine wine.
You know the standard stuff with alcohol!
Ageing is essential for wine as it heightens the flavours in the wine and can be done in various means: from containers to stainless steel containers to oak barrels.
Sometimes it depends on the size of the winemaker, from the big boys to the small family farm wineries.
The type of ageing and just how long it takes is all about influencing the top quality and preference of the wine generated.
3- Non-alcoholic white wine is grape juice.
Until it’s fermented, right?
I mean, let us address it head-on.
Most people trying to cut back on alcohol via non-alcoholic wine are generally put off because it the “grape juice notion” that gets in the way.
I hear this reason a lot on this blog.
Oh, “it’s just grape juice,” I hear all the time. And to be fair, there was a time when it did believe it.
Some of the actual early non-alcoholic wine was just grape juice carbonated and given a fancy name.
Of course, grape juice that is unfermented juice comes from grapes;
I mean, of course, it does.
It is its main ingredient, right?
And to be fair with the grapes, non-alcoholic wine goes through the same fermentation and ageing process as average wine.
But here is a big difference, the alcohol is eliminated toward the end of the production process.
This addresses why non-alcoholic wine is just not sugar.
It is not some kind of added sugary drink like grape juice in a carton.
It has the same fantastic tastes and intricacy as wine with a high level of alcohol.
And always check your unit via drinkaware as wine measures can be misleading!
Have you seen the size of wine glasses recently? Wow.
And that is before you have bought a large glass and they have given you the bottle for free. Not that there is much left of it after a large glass anyhow!
Now comes the hard part: removing the alcohol from the wine.
There are two primary methods winemakers get rid of the alcohol in the drink: distillation and purification.
I am not a wine scientist, but I will give it a go.
2- Distillation is still a process for Alcohol-Free.
So how do they get rid of that evil alcohol then?
The distilling of the alcohol of the wine very often through heavy steam.
And I am talking about an intense process here.
In other words, industrial manufacturers placed the white wine right into a powerful vacuum and heated it.
As the suction of the vacuum rises, the boiling temperature for the wine lowers.
This enables winemakers to heat the white wine temperature levels as reduced as 70 degrees Fahrenheit, distilling the alcohol of a glass of wine without heating the wine way too much and causing it to oxidise.
So that is one way.
The 2nd technique of getting rid of alcohol is through filtering or turning around osmosis.
In this, winemakers use exceptionally high pressure to force the alcohol out.
The non-alcoholic winemakers repeat this procedure until the wine ends up being a concentrate.
Now, this is the crucial bit about getting the wine as you and I would drink it.
Water is then included back right into the concentrate to create the alcohol-free wine.
Voila, However, it’s still bottled.
So what is next?
1- Alcohol Out, Then sell it.
As soon as the alcohol has been eliminated from the glass of wine, it’s ready for bottling and consumption.
Winemaking is a lovely and unique procedure, and non-alcoholic winemaking takes the process and actions to make a readily available product to a more extensive range of customers.
There are lots of reasons people don’t drink alcohol.
And trust me, many people will tell you this, and I have had it.
Just try juices and carbonated water.
They might be generous and say they have mocktails.
But, if alcohol-free drinks are not a trigger for you, then I would encourage you to increase your choice as it could be a great way to cut back on alcohol.
The more options for people in an alcohol-free world, the better!.
Just give an alcohol-free glass of wine a try.
My recommendation is from an excellent Spanish wine called Torres.
For convenience, I have included a link below.
As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but this does not affect your pay. I do my best to make that clear at all times and follow FTC guidelines.
But regardless, as you look around, you might become surprised by the myriad of non-alcoholic wines available on the market today, from alcohol-free alternatives to champagne to outstanding, sparkling wine.
I was hoping you could read my review of Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine here.
So Is Non-Alcoholic Wine for you?
And of course, it won’t be for everyone, and my aim for the blog is to help people have options to cut back on alcohol and explore alcohol-free options.
I am not anti-alcohol, just pro-awareness.
Now you understand just how non-alcoholic wine is made, would you give it a try?
There are also ways to get rid of it if you hate it, like down the sink, right?
And get this.
You won’t like them all either.
After all, you don’t like every alcoholic brand either!
Alcohol-free wine is might mimic and not be the alcohol wine you may otherwise drink. It’s important to remember that!
So maybe you’re reassured that making an alcohol-free glass of wine isn’t significantly different from making regular wine.
But red and white wine are made differently, and so are alcohol-free ones.
But they get the alcohol removed.
Non-alcoholic wine also goes through an ageing process like a standard glass of wine.
However, while grape juice is the unfermented juice sourced from grapes, non-alcoholic wine goes with the same fermentation and ageing process as regular wine, only to remove the alcohol at the last phases.
Now I have opened up and reassured myself about non-alcoholic wine even though I am surprised by wine choice coming into the market.
I am also talking about red, white roses, and sparkling as well.
But don’t expect to be ordering them in every restaurant or bar just yet. We have a long way to come.
What is your view on non-alcoholic wine, and would you buy them? Leave your comment below.