Also known as alcohol-free or de-alcoholized wines, are beverages that mimic the taste and characteristics of traditional wines but with very low or no alcohol content.
They are made through various methods, such as removing alcohol from fermented wines or creating grape juice-based beverages with wine-like flavours. Non-alcoholic wines can offer a range of styles, including red, white, rosé, and sparkling. They are often consumed by individuals who prefer to avoid alcohol for personal, health, or religious reasons, allowing them to enjoy the flavours and experience of wine without the alcohol content.
Is non-alcoholic wine good for you?
They can be a suitable option for those who wish to enjoy the flavours and experience of wine without consuming alcohol. However, it's important to note that non-alcoholic wine may not provide the same health benefits associated with moderate consumption of alcoholic wine. The health benefits typically attributed to wine, such as potential cardiovascular benefits from antioxidants like resveratrol, are primarily associated with the presence of alcohol.
Nonetheless, non-alcoholic wines can still offer some benefits. They are typically lower in calories compared to their alcoholic counterparts, and they can be a refreshing and enjoyable alternative for individuals who prefer to avoid alcohol. Additionally, some non-alcoholic wines may contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in grape juice.
How is it made?
Here are a few common methods used to produce non-alcoholic wine:
Vacuum Distillation: This process involves placing the fermented wine under vacuum conditions, which lowers the boiling point of alcohol. By applying heat at a lower temperature, the alcohol is removed from the wine while preserving the flavour compounds.
Reverse Osmosis: In this method, the wine is passed through a semi-permeable membrane under high pressure. The alcohol and other volatile compounds pass through the membrane, leaving behind a non-alcoholic base. The removed alcohol can be further distilled to produce other products.
Spinning Cone Column: This technique utilises a spinning cone column that rotates at high speeds. The wine is introduced into the column, and the centrifugal force causes the separation of volatile compounds, including alcohol. The non-alcoholic wine is collected, while the extracted alcohol is typically further processed.
Fermentation Halt: Instead of removing alcohol from fermented wine, this method involves stopping the fermentation process early, before all the sugar is converted into alcohol. This results in a wine with a lower alcohol content or residual sugar, giving it a sweeter taste.