Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Mar 19, 2007 02:11 AM

alcohol free wine

what is alcohol free wine ? how do they make it? anybody knows

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Various methods are used. As far as I know, all start with standard wine and none remove absolutely all the alcohol. Reverse osmosis (membrane) and vacuum distillation (boiling the alcohol off in an artificial vacuum; the vacuum lowers the boiling point) are the most common methods in Europe. Spinning cone columns (a complex and expensive combination of vacuum and centrifuge) are popular in the US and increasingly elsewhere, though I believe they are used mainly to lower the strength of high alcohol wines (from, say, 16% to 14%), not to produce nearly alcohol-free wines. The best explanation of the dealcoholization process I've seen is in Jamie Goode's The Science of Wine. The Oxford Companion to Wine articles are also quite good.

    1. Carswell has explained it quite well, as well as given you some additional sources of information.

      I would only add that

      1) R.O. is used here in the U.S. (Ariél = R.O.; Sutter Home's Fré = spinning cone).

      2) I have *never* had an alcohol-free "wine" that tasted the same as a "regular" wine.

      1. my teen age daughter is very curious about this, i am going to buy a bottle for her to try

        1 Reply
        1. re: monkfanatic

          Well . . . .

          FWIW, I always let my kids take a sip of my wine at dinner if they are interested, but that's neither here nor there.

          Ariel & Fre are, IMHO, the two best, but like I said above, they don't really taste like wine . . .

        2. Inglenook St. Regis Reserve alcohol removed chard. is tolerable if served quite cold my mil says. It does have 0.5% alcohol remaining.

          1 Reply
          1. re: OCEllen

            They all do. It's impossible to remove 100 percent of the alcohol, so the labels typically read "Less than 0.5% a.b.v."

          2. why does it call alcohol free if it's not 100% alcohol free,once my daughter's friend order a alcohol free cocktail at vegs, and they gave her with alcohol in it, and she didn't know, had two drinks , got totally wasted, if I were the parent, the restaurant will be in big trouble

            2 Replies
            1. re: monkfanatic

              Not sure about nomenclature in the US but in the UK the terms are defined by law:

              non alcoholic = 0% alcohol by volume
              alcohol free = 0.05% ABV or less
              dealcoholised = 0.5% ABV or less
              low alcohol = 1.2% ABV or less

              Above 1.2% ABV, duty is payable and a vendor's licence is required.

              You might as well ask why seedless oranges are allowed to have seeds (5 or 6 if I recall correctly).

              1. re: monkfanatic

                FWIW, Orange Juice contains less than 0.5% a.b.v.