If you’re offered a pour of non-alcoholic wine
by Bramptonwinesyou might figure that you’ll just be drinking grape juice. But no. NA Pinot Noir, Prosecco and the like start out like regular vintages — as boozy as your favorite drunk uncle. Through filtering or distilling, most of the alcohol is basically vacuumed out of wine. But, hey, teetotalers, not all of it. By law, wine must be less than one-half of 1% alcohol to wear an NA label.
NA wine sales generated $99.9 million in the 12 months ending Jan. 28, 2017, according to Nielsen, which tracks the industry. Robust business, but that figure is actually down 5.4% compared to the previous year.
Still, NA wine has buzz even if it doesn’t leave you with one. It’s popular with weight-watchers, since alcohol-free wine has about one-third the sugar and calories as regular wine. Even Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, a ’70s TV foodie who cooked with one hand and grasped a goblet in the other, is on-board.
So if you’re shunning booze, for whatever reason, it’s good to have an option. Ariel, which has produced NA wine since 1985, offers a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay that are decent but rather thin stand-ins. Neither tasted exactly like wine, even to my novice tongue. Sipping each, I wondered, Peggy Lee-like, Is that all there is? It is.
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