It's called zero alcohol wine and it's that drink with a sweetish taste that eliminates the alcohol content and gives a new meaning to the concept of wine.
Today we want to tell you about this variant of the classic wine which stands out as a healthy and quality product. But what is it about? And is it right to call it wine or is the definition improper? Furthermore, are there any pros and cons to evaluate before choosing to drink zero alcohol wine?
There are many questions, we know it well, but our goal is precisely to clarify the doubts and let the world know a drink that is new to many, but which can confuse traditionalists who do not give up the usual wine that is part of our history.
So take a pen and paper to write your notes and jot down everything you need to know about this new grape nectar whose main feature is the absence of alcohol among its ingredients.
Here are all the details: come with us!
This is what zero alcohol wine is
Zero alcohol wine is a non-alcoholic wine made with vinified grape must. It takes this name from the fact that before being ready to drink, and therefore placed on the market, it must be de-alcoholized, i.e. deprived of its alcohol through a well-defined complex process.
What does it have in common with the agricultural product of our vineyards? First of all the color: it can be white, red or rosé. And then, most importantly, it's made from grapes. The most obvious difference, however? Zero alcohol wine has the peculiarity of being healthier because it is free of alcoholic substances and therefore suitable for a wider category of people.
However, someone prefers to call it sparkling grape juice to put a real gap between an original product and one that is instead just a novelty that upsets the known wine market.
In any case, it is a drink that is increasingly gaining ground in international production and many retailers have decided to join this sales project because they have well understood the advantages deriving from the use of zero alcohol wine.
Curious to know its benefits? First, however, it is appropriate to clarify how this wine is produced and how the dealcoholization process takes place, but above all what its main characteristics are.
Characteristics of a product 100% grape and 0% alcohol
Non-alcoholic wine appears on our tables in appearance like its more famous predecessor. Difficult to recognize the difference between a wine with an alcohol content and one without it just by looking at a full glass. In fact, it is the taste that reveals the first differences at the first sip. But it certainly isn't the only one!
Here, then, are the characteristics that come to mind when we talk about zero alcohol wine:
- Taste. To connoisseurs it will seem a little watered down (comparing it to DOC wine) but sipping it you will feel its typical sweetness that recalls the taste of grapes. Furthermore, it has a less full-bodied and lighter taste, which makes it more palatable for those who do not like strong flavours.
- Absence of alcohol. The non-indifferent factor of the absence of alcohol not only affects the taste, but also its reference target and its uses on the table.
- Less calories. Compared to traditional wine, it has a low calorie content because it contains fewer sugars, apart from those inherent in the grape itself which is used to make it.
- Wine aromas. It does not eliminate the aromas of the classic wine, even if perhaps, especially in the taste, those of the grape prevail.
- Care in preparation. The dealcoholization process is well controlled and follows distinct phases for a high quality final result.
But, essentially, what is dealcoholization?
How the dealcoholization takes place: the most known procedures
Dealcoholization is that complex process which allows the wine to be deprived of its alcohol, separating the ethanol from the wine.
There is no unique method for preparing zero alcohol wine: however, all are very precise procedures that must be carried out with the utmost attention, taking into account factors such as pressure and temperature. In fact, if something goes wrong, even the entire production becomes unthinkable because it compromises quality and taste.
Let's get to know some of these processes closely: distillation and osmosis.
Distillation evaporates the alcohol contained in the wine. To do this, it uses heat which has the power to extract quantities of alcohol from the drink. Simple, right? It truly is a process that is easier said than done! High temperatures must be handled with the utmost caution. A single small mistake is enough and we can say goodbye to the production of wine which would be definitively compromised.
Osmosis uses pressure. In practice, high pressures act on water and alcohol molecules. However, this phase must be repeated several times to obtain the desired result which cannot be achieved in just one step. Hence, it is a more time consuming process.
Whatever the procedure used, the ready and bottled zero alcohol wine must be kept in a cool place and can then be served. But not at room temperature, please! Always remember to keep it in the fridge to fully enjoy its flavor and lightness.
Pros and cons: should you drink zero alcohol wine?
So let's come to the crucial point which is the doubt of many consumers: is it better to drink zero alcohol wine? And why?
The benefits of this grape nectar are remarkable. Let's try to list some of them to better understand their benefits:
- Suitable for everyone. Zero alcohol wine can be drunk by teetotalers as well as people who generally do not like the alcohol content in their drinks.
- Light and healthy. It certainly doesn't hurt! Mainly made of grapes and with no added preservatives, it is the perfect solution for those who want a sweet and even healthy product, which does not have harmful effects on the body.
- It does not cause liver problems. If the traditional wine is not suitable for those with liver problems, this instead can be drunk without fear because it has no contraindications in this sense.
- Ideal in diet. While alcohol makes you fat and should be consumed in moderation in diets, in this case there are no unfavorable indications forbidding its consumption outside or inside meals.
But is it also good for those suffering from diseases such as diabetes? Here science is divided and there are two conflicting versions.
For some, non-alcoholic wine is not bad for diabetics because it is free of alcohol and sugar. For others, however, attention must be paid to the percentages of sugars present in the grapes used in its preparation which could affect the physical conditions.
In general, however, we can say that this type of wine has no contraindications and does not involve any toxicity. It's just a matter of taste: either you like it or you don't like it!
Zero alcohol wine or zero alcohol beer?
The wording "zero alcohol" is increasingly fashionable these days. Both because we are looking for healthy products that do not harm the body, and because we try to respond to everyone's needs, including people on a diet or with special needs.
But there is also an exaggerated desire to innovate, change and bring fresh air to the food scene as well. After all, we've also been hearing about zero alcohol beer for some time now, haven't we?
Those of you who have tried it know well that it is healthy, good and much appreciated all over the world.
So: is it better to choose zero alcohol wine or zero alcohol beer? Here, too, it's all a matter of taste. They have the same qualities and benefits in common, but differ in taste (sweeter in the wine thanks to the aromas of the grapes).
In both cases, the trend is growing and more and more people are choosing to eliminate alcohol from their tables to make room for drinks more in line with their well-being needs.
Best zero alcohol wine: how to make the choice
By now it is clear that choosing to drink zero alcohol wine is an individual choice, linked to factors such as taste and health.
However, it is still a novelty that many do not yet know and therefore causes some doubts in choosing the type to buy. What will be the best zero alcohol wine?
To choose the right product for you, you can evaluate three criteria:
- The preparation (type of procedure used).
- The origin.
- Pairings at the table.
Any advice on this last point?
Non-alcoholic white wine is ideal for fish, white meat and vegetables. Non-alcoholic red wine goes well with red meats and cheeses. Finally, the rosé one is perfect for aperitifs, appetizers, summer dishes and served cold.
As for the brand, there are so many of excellent production that it is worth trying.
Therefore, do not let yourself be influenced by the prejudices that label this non-alcoholic wine as an "impostor" and directly try the different variants on the market. Whether it is Chardonnay, Merlot or sparkling, you will immediately recognize its essence and the grape-flavored aromatic note which is its most recognizable strong point.