The popularity of alcohol-free wines is increasing, and how! According to a market research survey, the global demand for non-alcoholic wines is expected to increase at a CAGR of 10%, between 2023 and 2023. And it’s evident why. Wine is one of the most popular drinks in the world, with as many as 1,300 varieties. So, it’s no surprise why so many people are interested in alcohol-free wines. It is a popular choice among those who are trying to restrict alcohol consumption. And what’s better is that you get the health benefits of wine without alcohol. It’s a win-win, won’t you say?
Want to learn more about alcohol-free wines? In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of non-alcoholic wines, exploring everything from the process of making these wines to the health benefits of drinking them.
Let’s get started.
What Is This Alcohol-Free Wine?
The history of wines can be traced back to the Neolithic age when grapes were fermented for the first time some 8,000 years ago. So, it’s safe to say that humans have been making wines for ages. But alcohol-free wines are a fairly recent addition.
Non-alcoholic or alcohol-free wine is a type of wine in which the alcohol content is partially or completely removed. These wines contain everything that's found in regular wines, minus the alcohol. The production and manufacturing process is also the same also regular wines. They are made using grapes, just like alcoholic wines. And they can be made using different varieties of grapes like Sangiovese, Shiraz, Zinfandel, etc. The only difference is an extra step of de-alcoholization, in which the alcohol is removed. The result is a wine that gives the same texture, flavor, mouthfeel, scent, and notes as its alcoholic counterpart.
How Is Alcohol-Free Wine Different From Alcoholic Wine?
To understand the difference between alcoholic wines and alcohol-free wines, it is important to understand how they are made. For the most part, alcohol-free wines go through the regular winemaking process of crushing grapes, followed by fermentation and aging. It is the last step of de-alcoholization which makes it different from alcoholic wine.
1. Harvesting and crushing of grapes: In the first step, the winemaker will harvest grapes from the vineyard. Great care is taken to separate the fruits from the vines and the leaves, before pressing the juice out of them. The end product of this process is called a must.
2. Fermentation: If the winemaker is making white wine, they will remove the skin, seeds, and stems from the grape juice. Then the juice will be left to ferment, which produces the alcohol content in the wine. For sweeter wines, the fermentation is stopped earlier, while the drier wines are made by complete fermentation. The fermentation process also adds different flavors and aromas to the wine.
3. Aging: This is done to change the flavor bouquet of the wine. For aging the wines, they are kept in bottles, stainless steel tanks, or oak barrels.
To make non-alcoholic wines, the de-alcoholization procedure is introduced before the aging process. The biggest challenge with this process is retaining the flavor, aroma, balance, and mouthfeel of the wine since alcohol tends to carry a lot of the original flavor. Depending on the de-alcoholization process, a wine may be left with 0.5% ABV or less. But it rarely goes below 0.0% ABV.
Reasons Why Alcohol-Free Wine Is Better For You
The great thing about alcohol-free wine is that it offers the same health benefits as regular wine, without the common risks associated with alcohol. Here’s why drinking alcohol-free wine can be a great decision –
1. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues: Non-alcoholic wines, just like their alcoholic counterparts, contain a type of antioxidants known as polyphenols. These antioxidants can help you in a number of ways, from reducing inflammation and blood pressure to limiting the risk of cancer.
2. Enjoy wine with lesser calories: Most alcoholic wines contain around 24 calories per fluid ounce. Alcohol-free wines, on the other hand, are known to contain 1.7 calories or lesser. So, you can enjoy the same flavor and taste with lesser caloric intake.
3. Lesser intoxication effects: Alcohol-free wines usually contain a fraction of the original percentage of wines. The possibility of intoxication with these wines is almost nil.
How Alcohol-Free Wine Factor Into Your Celebrations And Parties
So you’re planning a party to celebrate a significant milestone. You have shortlisted the guests, organized the venue, and booked entertainment for the party. Now, all that is left is food and drinks. And this brings up the tricky topic of alcohol or no alcohol. If any of your guests are non-drinkers or are on their journey to embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle, you need to make sure that you have a good selection of drinks for them too. This is where non-alcoholic drinks factor in. Non-alcoholic drinks are great for your celebrations and events because –
- There are lesser chances of things going wrong when there is no alcohol involved.
- If you have guests that are under 18 years of age, you would feel less conflicted about your choice of drinks.
- Everyone will be able to enjoy a natural high and focus on the event.
- There is lesser pressure on those who don’t drink alcohol.
- There is also a lesser risk of your guests getting into accidents on their way back from the event.
How Else Should You Enjoy Alcohol-Free Wine And Benefits?
Here are some ways you can enjoy alcohol-free wine and its benefits –
- Let the wine breathe: Aeration is a great way to improve the flavor and aromas of the wine. It’s a good idea to open the wine a day before drinking it. Just pour a small glass after opening it and put it back in the fridge.
- Pair it with the right food: Pairing the right food with your wine can give you access to all new flavors. Since non-alcoholic wines are generally a little sweeter, it’s a good idea to pair them with spicy foods.
- Add stuff to the wine: You can add stuff to your non-alcoholic wines to make interesting drinks out of them. Add All the Bitter Orange Bitters to your NA sparkling or white wine, or All the Bitter Aromatic Bitters to tone down the sweetness of your NA red wine. You can even add a drop of vinegar to improve the sweetness, balance, texture, and bite of wine.
Alcohol-Free Wine Options That Blow Your Mind
Here are some of our recommendations for must-try non-alcoholic wines –
- Zeero Sangiovese: Try this non-alcoholic Tuscan wine, which comes with zero sugar. This beautifully earthy and full wine gives notes of rhubarb, red plum, and black cherry, making it perfect for cool weather.
- Wander + Found Rosé: A Rosé is perfect for any occasion and you wouldn’t a better rosé that Wander + Found. This wine gives notes of ripe berries and citrus, and rich complexity that is sure to delight any wine lover.
- Wander + Found Cuvée Blanc: This Cuveé Blanc from Germany offers a bright tartness of green apples, along with notes of citrus and lime. It is best enjoyed with light meals or on its own.
- Wander + Found Pinot Noir: This is a well-balanced red that gives notes of dried currants and dark red fruits. This is the perfect wine to pair with your dinner.
What Else To Keep In Mind
‘In vino veritas’. When the Latins this phrase, they were surely talking about non-alcoholic wines. These wines can provide you with all the benefits of a regular wine, without any of its disadvantages. We understand that the world of non-alcoholic wines can be confusing if you’re new to it. This is why we recommend you browse through the large selection of non-alcoholic wines available on the Better Rhodes marketplace.