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Alcohol-Free Wine

Does anyone have a recommendation for an alcohol-free wine that might actually be tasty? Preferably white.

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  1. No. Not even close. Go with water, ice tea or lemonade. Trying to find an alcohol-free "wine" is a profound waste of money.

    1. What's the point? When I am off wine for one reason or another, I make a drink of 1/2 pomegranate juice and 1/2 sparkling water served in a champagne flute.

      1. Alcohol free wine? What's next? Meat-free burgers.

        What's that, someone is actually selling this stuff? What's the world coming to :)

        10 Replies
        1. re: bkhuna

          Some people can't drink alcoholic beverages due to medication and they enjoy drinking wine with their meals or socially.

          1. re: JamaicaOne

            My friends who are in recovery recommend the Sutter Home Free which I believe is available from the winery. They love the bubbles especially.

            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

              Leaving aside the (dubious) merits of people in recovery drinking alcohol-free wines . . .

              a) It's "Fre," not "Free".

              b) Sutter Home makes a number of different alcohol-free wines under the "Fre" brand, three varietal wines (White Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay), and three generics (Premium Red, Premium White, and a Brut sparkling wine).

              c) Personally, I'd prefer iced tea, soda, sparkling water, etc., etc., etc. I've never thought these tasted very much like wine.

              1. re: zin1953

                Agreed. Alcohol-free wine is kind of a joke. It always tastes terrible. Give me sparking cider, etc every time.

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  have you had your chowpup yet, invinotheresverde?

                  Glad to hear you backing up my opinion -- I tried alcohol-free wines when I was pregnant and yecch. I just gave up.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    She'll be here Monday, at the latest. Thanks for asking!

                    Yeah, it just doesn't do it for me. Some things simply have no substitute..

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      here's hopes for fast, safe, and healthy for everybody...

                2. re: zin1953

                  Yeah, I personally wouldn't bother with the "alcohol-free" stuff. It's yucky!
                  Just passing along the info as requested.
                  I'd much rather get a fancy bottle of sparkling Normandy Apple Cider, a great, homemade lemonade or my Mama's ice tea than submit my palate to the horror...

                  1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                    Normandy apple cider, or cidre, is about 5% alcohol, and will knock you on your butt if you're not careful (it's sweet, refreshing, and bubbly, and it has a bad habit of sneaking up on people)

                    Sparkling apple juice is considered strictly kids' stuff.

          2. Years ago, my wife had some GI issues and could not have alcohol for months. In that time, we tried several alcohol-free wines and sparklers. She chose to NOT consume any of it, and wait. That was then, but I have not heard of anything good, along those lines, since.

            Hunt

            1. I don't have any experience...when ordering some wine recently from Navarro I noticed they had a section of non-alcoholic and juices made from the grapes. Here's the link so you can check it out.
              http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/produ...

              1 Reply
              1. re: sweetnspicy

                Juice and alcohol-free wine are two separate beasts, almost entirely. If one is looking for wine specifically, they are usually disappointed with juice (it's sweet, first off), and usually only just tolerant of de-alcoholized wine.

                However, our juice is made from grape varieties that are traditionally used for wine; Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer. Many of the notes that one tastes in a finished wine are imparted by the grape, and duly found in the juice as well.

                It's not accurate to call it non-alcoholic wine, but it is misleading calling it just juice too. I prefer to think of it as not-yet-fermented wine. :)

              2. Part of the problem is that no sensible winery would take good wine, go to the trouble and expense to dealcoholize it and then have to sell it for less. Alcohol free wine is made from the worst your friendly vintner has to offer, stuff he can't sell any other way.

                1. There are three methods used to produce alcohol-free wines:

                  1. Heat the wine to just below boiling, and literally vacuum away the alcohol molucluse (which have a lower boilingpoint than water). That ruins the wine's flavors.

                  2. "Spinning cone" technology -- http://www.conetech.com/SpinningConeC... -- can strip away more than just the alcohol, as the alcohol molecules are "spun away."

                  3. Reverse osmosis forces the wine through a membrane to separate the alcohol from the rest of the wine. http://www.vinovation.com/custequip.htm This can be -- and is -- used to remove some of all of the wine's alcohol.

                  They ALL alter the flavor and texture of the "wine."

                  Navarro grape juice, iced tea, fruit-and-sparkling water mixtures -- all are MUCH better alternatives than "alcohol-free wine."

                  Jason

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: zin1953

                    Today I was the "peanut gallery" at an interview taping of Anthony Dann. He was at Stanford, being interviewed for a video (promo?) for Stanford Hospital. Mr Dann had had a serious heart condition correctly diagnosed and successfully treated there, and was giving Stanford credit for giving him the renewed energy to take his company to new heights of success.

                    He told of the initial scepticism of winemakers, but his company now services wineries worldwide with its alcohol-reduction technology.

                    This man flies millions of miles back and forth around the world to all the major winemaking regions. He has been in the wine business for years. Surely he would not sell a tehcnology which would harm wine, nor would the winemakers allow their wines to be diminshed...

                    I'd like your take on this, several years after the comment above. Do you still feel the same? Have you recently had any of the altered wines? I for one, would love to go back to the days of lower alcohol content. Hoping to hear a reply from you, you always have interesting and considered viewpoints.

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      Toodie, if you want lower alcohol, try German wine. Many are lower.

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        "Lower(ed) alcohol" is a VERY different thing than what to OP was asking about: "Alcohol-free." This, in turn, is very different (obviously) from non-alcoholic grape juice, such as that bottled by Navarro Vineyards (i.e.: Pinot Noir and Gew├╝rztraminer grape juice).

                        When it comes to beverages with less than 0.05 percent of alcohol -- essentially alcohol-free -- I'd opt for a glass of Navarro grape JUICE over a glass of St. Regis, Sutter Home Fr├ę, Ariel or any other non-alcoholic WINE . . . EVERY time!

                        Wines do not need to be 14, 15, or 16 percent alcohol to be delicious. Alcohol contributes more than just inebriation, and so (IMHO) one needs to be very careful in removing/lowering the alcohol. But it IS possible to do so without fatally damaging the wine.

                        I would just prefer other options.

                        Cheers,
                        Jason

                        1. re: zin1953

                          "Alcohol contributes more than just inebriation, and so (IMHO) one needs to be very careful in removing/lowering the alcohol."

                          This is an aspect, that is unfortunately overlooked all too often. Balance is more than fruit vs acid, and similar.

                          When provided in balance, alcohol contributes much more than just a "buzz." It is about "balance," and that is what is sorely missing from most alcohol-free wines that I have experienced.

                          With the penchant for "free" of this, and that, I would recommend a filtered water, in lieu of a wine, stripped of the constituent elements. Take out all tannins, all sulfites, all sulfides, all alcohol, and the water would be better.

                          Hunt

                    2. From what I've experienced, alcohol free wine isn't a poor substitute for regular wine, it's a poor substitute for most grape juice.

                      1. More-and-more wine growers are trying to make alcohol-free wines. Yes, the process of removing the alcohol is deleterious to the flavor, but for some people, such as my wife who loves wine, a recent diagnosis reveals that alcohol is dangerous to her health. We both love wine, so we are trying to find something that is, at least, palatable, as we are not obsessive oenophiles.

                        So, here are two companies that are doing something better than Ariel or Sutter:

                        1. Eisberg (eisberg.co.uk) - A German wine producer that uses osmosis to remove the alcohol.
                        2. Carl Jung wines (carljungwines.com) - Also from Germany. They have been doing this for a century.

                        You'll just have to check with local suppliers to see if they are available in your area.

                        To get a better idea of what non-alcoholic wines are look at the lono.co.uk site, which sells a variety of non-alcoholic wines, albeit in the UK.

                        And thanks to sweetnspicy for the Navarro suggestion. We have not tried their juices yet.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DuchampStaircase

                          >>> More-and-more wine growers are trying to make alcohol-free wines. <<<

                          Then why have I not seen any ???

                        2. When I was pregnant... 11 years ago. All I drank was water, Navarro and my ONE GLASS OF WINE a WEEK!!!!! My husband and I were so happy those Sunday nights when I drank my ONE GLASS of wine. All the other non-alcoholic wines and beers just didn't measure up.

                          1. No, alas, herbal teas are probably your best bet. But depending on your motivation for not drinking, you might be better off slowly enjoying a half glass of wine then switching to sparkling water.

                            1. I have found that ARIEL Non-Alcoholic Wines are the best for cooking and drinking. If you need a non alcoholic wine this is your best bet and they cost about $8 a bottle. They got a website too http://www.arielvineyards.com/wines.html

                              1. I have tried several offerings, but never found any that I could enjoy. Glad that I do not have issues with alcohol here.

                                Now, I do not seek these "wines" out, so have probably missed many, yet do encounter them in general and trade tastings, and have been left underwhelmed in several aspects.

                                Good luck,

                                Hunt

                                1. My favorite alcohol-free wine substitute is to cold-brew white or green teas for 24 hours and then pour into a wine glass. They are a great alcohol free but interesting substitute for wine and can be paired with the meal. You can also add a drop or two of lemon or lime juice for acidity.