Not drinking alcohol, what will take the place of wine?
I've read all about the non-alcoholic wines, and the Ariel white is not bad. But the red....well that is more like a dry grape juice. I've also found a fine non-alcoholic beer, but how I long for red wine, my drink of choice. Can anyone suggest other non-sweet, non-coffee drinks that might go well with all those Italian and American dishes that call out for red wine? I'm going to start investigating odd teas to see if any of them bring that tannin to the table, but would love some other suggestions. Thanks so much for your help.
When I am at a dinner party and will not be drinking alcohol, my drink of choice is always sparkling mineral water.
My usual is San Pellegrino, because it is readily available. My favorite is Badoit. But there are lots of other choices out there.
You could put out a selection of sparkling water and do a taste comparison! I did this once and it was surprising how differently they tasted.
Thanks for the suggestions. I tried the Inglenook Cab and it wasn't tooooo bad. Also discovered the easiest secret ingredient....vinegar. I tried cranberry juice with it as well as just mixed with water...red wine vinegar and balsamic gave different flavors, but they both were good. Thanks again for your help.
Italian Mosta d'Uva is free-run juice from wine grapes that's not fermented (just basically extra-fancy grape juice). Many of the growers I've seen imported here are biodynamic. It's more tannic, more acidic, a bit less sweet and lots more complex than concord juice. I reduce it for sauce/glaze. You can cut it with water or seltzer.
I have no idea if these will work. I have never tried them. They just popped into my head.
BUT......pomegranate juice? I am thinking maybe it could be thinned with still or sparkling water if it turns out to be too sweet. If you are not "zero-tolerance" for alcohol, a splash of Angostura bitters might also add some interesting layers of flavor. It is roughly 45% alcohol but a dash or two would probably be enough, leaving the percentage alocohol most likely less than even Nyquil (25%)--probably by a LOT.
As far are strange teas go...I find Genmaicha to have a lot of structure to it, especially when cold. It is a Japanese green tea with "popped" rice kernels. I can't speak any further to the tea as there seems to be a lot of discussion about variations and specifics, but I have a tin in my collection at all times and have always enjoyed the rich character.
Lastly, it "seems" like a virgin Bloody Mary with a lot of acid (lemon and/or lime juice) might work too.
p.s. you could also go the the website for Cyrus restaurant in Sonoma where they are known for some interesting cocktails of which you could steal the flavors minus the alchohol.
You could go in an entirely different sparkling direction and add some lemon lime (or other fruit flavored) seltzer to an unsweetened fruit juice of choice. It's very refreshing and a good drink to pair with all those heavy dishes often served at this time of year.
I'm drinking raspberry seltzer mixed with Cran Grape right now. Very delicious. Sort of a non alcoholic Spritzer.