Alcohol-free wine is an interesting category at the moment and is seemingly a little behind in the low and no market. When looking at alcohol-free beer, we now find that the taste is often very close to the full-strength counterpart, it’s becoming harder to tell them apart. The challenge with wine is often in achieving the viscosity you’d expect from alcohol of around 12% and upwards. There isn’t anything that can really substitute or mask the lack of alcohol.
Let’s think about the challenges of developing an alcohol-free wine. Brewers can make a new beer every week or so, because it doesn’t take long to make, and raw materials are always readily available. A vineyard must be cultivated by the winemaker year round, most of the year is spent tending to the vines. There will be one harvest, and then the grapes must be put into production. This means attempts to develop new products cannot be made as regularly as they can be in other sectors. So it’s no wonder that sometimes alcohol-free wine seems to be a little behind other drink categories. We need to see more producers taking the leap and exploring what can be done with de-alcoholised wine, providing good alternatives.
So it’s wonderful to see that Lindeman’s Wines have risen to the challenge and made their first foray into the alcohol-free sector. We’re looking forward to seeing more producers follow in their footsteps – and we can’t wait for you to try them all at the next Mindful Drinking Festival on Saturday 20th July.
The Lindeman’s vineyard started production in 1843 and is renowned and respected for its consistency. The winemakers realised that people who are reducing their alcohol consumption or quitting altogether were moving away from brands that they love, and wanted to provide an alternative that is familiar and brings these consumers back into the fold. So let’s check out the range…
Semillon Chardonnay NV
This pours a pale straw colour with a Summery nose of orchard and grass, some bright citrus aroma too. On the taste, you get a soft tropical character with a little citrus acidity too. It’s light and easy with a lasting flavour. It also works really well in a spritz with soda water and a slice of lemon served over ice. If you want to open this with dinner, opt for a light seafood or chicken dish, avoid anything too rich or spicy. I had mine alongside cod with fennel and potato salad, perfect!
Cabernet Sauvignon NV
This pours a dark shade of red and has aromas of blackberries and pepper. Tannins are definitely present, and there is some sweet dark fruit. I also threw a generous slug of this in a ragu I was making, which worked a treat. You could try making a cheeky Sangria, mixing 2 parts red wine to 1 part orange juice. Serve it over ice with chopped fruit; apple, lemon and strawberries work beautifully. It’s best to mix it in a jug with your fruit and chill it for a couple of hours. And you can top it with a little soda water if you fancy.
Chardonnay Pinot Noir Muscat NV
Pours a very pale lemon shade with aromas of soft stone fruit, apple and honey. On the taste, there is a dry savoury yeast character, with sweet honey, peach, apple, and a little lemon too. Personally, I think this is great on its own, but if you want to get creative you could try your hand at making a spritz. I tried it mixing 125ml of it with 100ml pear juice and garnished with a bit of rosemary and a slice of fresh ginger. Yes, I do spend lots of time chucking drinks together, it’s a strange hobby.
Have you tried any of Lindeman’s alcohol-free wines yet? Let us know what you think of them, you can get them in the UK in Asda and Morrisons supermarkets.
Lindeman’s Wines is a Club Soda drinks brand member. They have paid a fee to join as a member, but have no control over the content we write about them.