Wine & more
Alcohol-free still and sparkling wines are on trend. Even though they comprise one of the smallest segments in the wine scene as a niche product, demand and supply are steadily growing. This is because, as with beer, consumers are increasingly asking about alcohol-free wines.
Do alcohol-free wines taste good?
Some respondents to a DWI-commissioned study by Nielsen said they did not even want to test alcohol-free wines, although they had never tried it before. The perception that alcohol-free wines do not have a good taste may well be justified in view of the earlier methods of production.
Production of non-alcoholic wines: then and now
Alcohol-free wines are created by removing alcohol from a finished wine. Previously this was done at elevated temperatures, which destroyed the aromas and lost the complexity of the fruit. Today the processes are designed to conserve the aromas, for example vacuum distillation, which work even at low temperatures. With such new production methods and the preservation of the aromas, the taste of the non-alcoholic products has improved significantly.
Compensating for the loss of alcohol
Aromatic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc or Gewürztraminer are often used as base wines. They provide an intense aroma, which compensates for the lack of alcohol in the wine. In this context, residual sweetness is also often used to compensate. This is because alcohol is an important flavor carrier in wine, just like fat is in food. In the case of non-alcoholic sparkling wines, carbon dioxide is primarily used for compensation.
Why is the demand increasing?
Health-conscious enjoyment and a balanced lifestyle are much more present today than in the past, which further increases the demand for low- and no-alcohol alternatives. The fact that these products often contain significantly fewer calories also plays a role. Despite their niche status, alcohol-free wines are increasingly in demand. Those who want to consciously avoid alcohol but enjoy the flavours of wine, have found a satisfying alternative with alcohol-free still and sparkling wines.