Best Non Alcoholic Wine
I have had a love hate relationship with the best non alcoholic wine since going alcohol free after issues with my liver. However now many people are looking to either cut back or change their relationship with alcohol.
Now what is my issue with it? It’s the taste and the confusing nature of it. It’s alcohol free or non alcoholic oh and yes low alcohol and the list goes on.
The taste was at the front of the cue though! Does it taste any good now?
It’s no wonder that you and I can get confused.
There is no doubt it did get a really bad reputation as a result in the early days. The good news the taste has changed for the better as the production has caught up.
For me it has to be alcohol free and taste good.
Maybe some of the reputation is still around to be fair.
The bottom line is for alcohol free drinks market to survive and for us those of us seeking an alcohol free lifestyle the taste needs to be decent otherwise we will always say “yes it’s OK but it’s not alcohol pass me a cola ”.
I do think English sparkling wine has come to the forefront even when its not truly wine! You can read my review here.
Of course for many of us our health or lifestyle depend on it so then we have no choice we still crave drink variety in our lives especially socially.
The product has to be right when it comes to alcohol free wine!
Will the best non alcohol wine survive?
Yes it is the big answer as there is too much money invested in it. Millions of pounds are now going into branding, product and making non alcoholic wine is not cheap.
In fact, it can be more expensive to make.
There are now too many people invested in the process. For example:
- People promoting an alcohol free healthy lifestyle
- A realization we only have one liver
- The effect of alcohol on mental health
- The impact of alcohol and many diseases including cancer
- Stress and Mental Health issues
- The cost to the world healthcare system in terms of issues relating to alcohol
- Behavioral issue such as careless sex and domestic abuse
- People who just want to save money
- Religious reasons.
In fact, I could keep going one of the reason why the best non alcohol wine will survive is the lack of a hangover after drinking it !
My aim when choosing the best alcohol free wine is tasty and checking the abv.
ABV is alcohol by volume as a reminder.
This is important for me and it should be for everyone. It’s about how much alcohol is in the drink.
For me it’s got to be zero but I understand that many natural products like orange juice and bread rolls have a trace of alcohol but the amount is small and this happens with many fermentation processes especially around fruits.
It fact in can happen naturally in the wild.
If you are drinking alcohol free drinks then you at least want them to be a good tasting option otherwise we get back to the rather dull colas and sodas.
Now some people in the therapist community I have met them say we should all be happy with a fizzy water and sit in the corner.
Here is my “but”
If we know that an alcohol free alternative won’t mean we end up drinking out of control why should we not drink zero alcohol choices as its a perfectly great way to relax and socialize.
After all not everyone who chooses alcohol free has a problem with alcohol or the best non alcoholic wines. For you it maybe is just a lifestyle choice.
In fact not everyone who has liver disease has a problem with alcohol. Sometime alcohol has nothing to do with liver disease of the health of our liver.
I was just an average social wine drinker for example.
What’s the difference between just grape juice and wine?
So alcohol free wine or non alcoholic wine is not just grape juice without the alcohol. That’s a really important message to instill confidence in the best non alcoholic wine!
To be honest if I had a penny for how many people said this to me I would be a rich person.
Many health experts have touted this view for ages so I can see why people see as fact though. “Grape Juice is good for you so just drink that”.
People who say this generally drink alcohol by the way!
It’s important we know what we are drinking! And we can do better than grape juice surely?
Is alcohol-free wine the same as non-alcoholic or dealcoholized wine?
Crikey is it any wonder we are confused. But yes overall although some of the methods differ but the concept remains the same and you are looking for the ABV figure on the back of a wine bottle so alcohol by content.
You are really looking for below 0.5% and ideally 0.0%.
It’s such an important figure.
It will also vary where you live as everywhere has different drinking laws. For example here in the UK I have to show ID for totally alcohol free products and no its not my youngish looks either!
What you need to know is that generally our alcohol free
…… or non alcoholic wine has had the alcohol removed.
You can get a bit baffled by the science and I am more interested in what it tastes like but you will hear terms like “reverse osmosis” and “thin-film evaporation”
Now here lies the issue with some of the production and partly the reason why alcohol free wine got a really bad name.
Yes it took the alcohol out but it also took out the other stuff associated with wine so the smell and it even tasted really different so much so that I know people who would spit it out it was that bad.
I mean seriously bad!
Then of course came along a procedure that is very common now in making alcohol free wine and that is the vacuum process.
So under this process all the alcohol is removed. So that alcohol starts to dissolve into thin air without killing off the flavor of the wine. That has made a massive difference to how it tastes to you and me.
This is why the best non alcoholic wine has come of age!
I guess it’s a bit like a certain process that kills good cells in the body as well as the bad ones in health treatment. It makes us feel crap.
And I know what you are saying then isn’t this grape juice? No it isn’t as I would not be writing about it here. I promise you that as I can’t stand grape juice!
Remember this wine still goes through the other wine making procedure and in that sense it’s not any different.
The wineries have to pick and choose the grapes and get them harvested. Of course the type of grape really determines the flavor of the wine.
The choice of grape also decides the level of wine acidity, how sweet, and how it tastes.
Once the grapes are prepared in the same way as the usual wine the familiar fermentation starts which most of us will be familiar with. .
So the grape juice is produced to make it into alcohol. Of course most wine markers add yeast to this process which is the catalysts of making it happen.
The process keeps going until all the sugar is converted and the earlier it is stopped the sweeter the wine.
Makes sense right?
My friends who work in a winery industry defend the process even with non alcoholic wine and say that careful attention is paid so it goes through the same aging process using bottles, steel containers and of course the old-fashioned oak barrels we see in those pictures.
As he argues and actually I agree this is why the best non alcoholic wine is not just grape juice as that would be just un-fermented with none of the process of alcohol wine included. .
So we get less sugar and the only difference is that the alcohol is removed. I would argue it still tastes a bit different but some of the wine I have had recently comes very close and is exceptionally drinkable from choice which is where we need to get to.
Of course like anything if you remove an ingredient it will taste different so an alcohol free chardonnay will take different to an alcohol one. The alcohol is removed just before the bottle but I still like to see what the grape vineyard has been used
My experience seems to suggest wine makers are being more bullish about putting their brand and graph choice firmly at the heart of the wine label.
What type of wine can you get?
If I am honest red would be at the bottom of my list but overall there are some great choices both red and white, but let’s not forget the speaking wine either.
I tend to go with a brand that has always delivered on the alcohol from and that is the Torres Brand from Spain.
I personally find it so easy in Spain to get alcohol free choices there and there is no attitude asking for it either, especially where alcoholic free beer is clearly available in bars let alone supermarkets.
You can do no better than choosing the Torres choice and I have an affiliate link below and you pay the exact same price. The taste is amazing.
The thing to remember is just like alcohol free gin which I love ( read my review here of my favorite) it will be a different drink so don’t expect it to taste just like the alcohol counterparts.
At the end of the day alcohol-free wine must be seen as a really totally different drink from regular wine when it comes to flavor.
It stands that if you take one of the ingredients out then something will change.
Yet the Torres brand really do keep to the essence of the wine. I rank it number one in terms of my personal choice.
There is a big market out there and yes I realize alcohol free lifestyle people like me are just a small percentage of the wine drinking community.
But we are a willing partner with money to spend and like the beer industry the producers of that wine are starting to realize that.
Growth of these drinks is in the 23 % range every year and that means a healthy profit from a niche audience. There is also evidence from research studies that if we give people good choices they will take it.
Always know your alcohol limit with drink aware. It really does matter.
What’s your view?
I would love to know what you think? What stage are you on in terms of alcohol free drinks? Do you need to give up like me for health or are you just wanting to cut back for a lifestyle choice.
There are many people who want to give up alcohol and we can’t all be lumped in the same bracket.
However, we do have one thing in common which is we expect the best non alcoholic wine to taste decent and not to be ripped off. Leave your comments and views below and I always respond.