No/low alcohol wine: The new kid on the block could be your next favourite drink

Thursday, 4 August, 2022
Zero Wines
No- and low-alcohol wines aren't new. But relatively speaking, it's an emerging industry as the first wine of its kind was only sold in the 1980s.

In the early days of the NOLO (no- and low-alcohol) movement, the flavour profile of non-alcoholic wines was significantly different to their alcoholic counterparts, and this put many people off from the start.

However, there are plenty of reasons to discover non-alcoholic wines: from health reasons to lifestyle choices. Even though there are ongoing challenges associated with NOLO winemaking processes, there has been a lot of improvement to the flavour profiles of these wines over the years. Consumer interest in this industry has encouraged winemakers to innovate and improve their products. As a result, the options on the market are expanding.

Embracing a drink with unique appeal

As tempting as it is, we shouldn’t compare NOLO wines to regular wines as they are inherently different. For health-conscious and sober curious consumers, the NOLO movement is an opportunity to discover an entirely new type of drink with its own unique flavour profile.

Whether you’re a sceptic or a newbie to the NOLO movement, we’re here to be transparent about the challenges associated with de-alcoholisation so that you can choose better tasting wines. As always, we’re here to educate, so let’s get into it.

Wine-making challenges that impact the tasting experience of NOLO wines

NOLO wines undergo the same fermentation process as regular wines to imitate the flavour profile & mouthfeel. While these wine-like qualities are present in the finished product, they are usually less developed. Depending on the method of removing alcohol, each process will impact the tasting experience differently.

One of these methods is vacuum distillation in which raising the temperature of wine allows the alcohol to evaporate. These wines may have a less intense smell as the aromatic compounds are blended back into the de-alcoholised wine. An alternative method is reverse osmosis which doesn’t require temperature variations and ensures the de-alcoholised wine retains more wine-like structures.

Ready your palate by acknowledging the flavour differences

Firstly, let’s manage our expectations. There’s no getting around it; removing the key ingredient from wine will impact the flavour profile. This is because alcohol in conventional wines contributes to the recognisable taste, mouthfeel, dryness, and aroma. Without alcohol or tannins in de-alcoholised wine, it’s harder to retain the wine-like aromatics & structure.

Since the alcohol in wine gives it body, de-alcoholised wines are also typically thinner and lighter. In order to match the signature mouthfeel of a regular wine, some winemakers opt to add more sugar. Also, some winemakers add grape juice to replace the volume lost from removing the alcohol. Both of these solutions combat the challenges associated with alcohol distillation and can create sweeter wines with more fruity undertones.

When we embrace de-alcoholised wine as a great tasting alternative instead of a substitute, we start to appreciate its unique appeal. As Zero Wines, we believe that it’s important to inform consumers about the variations of NOLO wines so that you can make better purchasing decisions and improve your tasting experience.

Discover delicious alcohol-free or low-alcohol alternatives HERE and have it shipped directly to your door!

Allure De-Alcoholised Sparkling Wine
Allure De-Alcoholised Sparkling Wine

Lautus Savvy White De Alcoholised Wine
Lautus Savvy White De Alcoholised Wine

Almost Zero Wonderful White
Almost Zero Wonderful White

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