21 days of wellness modern lifestyle wellness series Aisling Larkin 10 non alcoholic wine Jules Mahon

Navigating a New World of Non-Alcoholic Wines

 Whether a dedicated wine enthusiast or simply seeking a mindful alternative, lets see if we can learn a bit more about non-alcoholic wines. 

The Flavours: Non-alcoholic wines are not meant to be just an imitation of their alcoholic counterparts; they are intended to be a stand alone experience  one that can be both a sophisticated and nuanced experience in its own right. From Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to Rieslings and Pinot Grigio most of the wine varieties we love are available in a non alcohol versions nowadays. The expectation is there will be notes of citrus, berries, and even the complexity of oak, providing a sensory journey that mirrors the classic traditional wines.

Now this is where I begin to raise an eyebrow. There are noticeable differences in flavour in my opinion. I am no sommelier of wine or connoisseur of non alcoholic wine but my truth is… I notice a difference. I have not yet found one that tickles my fancy. 

The makers of non-alcoholic wines will tell you “that the absence of alcohol allows for a cleaner and more immediate expression of the grape’s true character. This clarity makes non-alcoholic wines an ideal companion for those seeking a mindful drinking experience without compromising on taste”.

They will also state that “creating non-alcoholic wines is an art form that demands precision and expertise. By carefully fermenting grape juice and employing cutting-edge technologies, winemakers can capture the essence of traditional winemaking without the need for alcohol. The result is a beverage that preserves the integrity of the grape while providing a satisfying and complex drinking experience’. 

At a recent dinner out, in a lovely restaurant in Dublin, I tried a glass of Eins Zwei Zero Riesling. 

,Let me tell you my thoughts…. It was nice, it was fine ! It was significantly better than most of the supermarket brand non-alcoholic wine I had tasted. Also I should point out, I would not really know a good riesling from a bad so they may have something to do with my lack of appreciation of this libation. It was fine, but was I aware I was drinking non alcoholic wine ? Yes I was ! But was it nice to have a glass of wine with my meal and not have another glass of sparkling water and be able to drive home ? Yes, yes it really was. 

I think mindset has as much to do with the pleasure of the experience. I dont drink a whole lot of wine at home if I am honest. A glass with dinner on Friday night or Sunday dinner perhaps, but that is kind of it. I only drink wine with a meal, so when I eat out enjoying and savouring that glass of wine as part of the experience is important. It enhances the experience. Now I am not saying that is right or wrong either…. perhaps that is engrained socially accepted norms and behaviours and perhaps that really needs to change. But for the present moment that is my situation. 

To that end, the option of a good non-alcoholic wine is great. It is lower in calories with on average on 25kcals per 100mls, there will be no interruptions to your sleep, or groggy hangovers the next morning, no overload of detox work for your liver, clarity of your mind and you can get up the next day and go about your movement routine and daily life. 

You know me by now, I am one for discernment, quality over quantity. And I like to make sure we are all on the same journey, so to that end I reached out to an expert in this area …. Jules Mahon, Beverage and Hospitality Director at Michaels in Blackrock for a recommendation. 

She suggests the Fritz Müller non-alcoholic. It is a fruity, semi sparkling non-alcoholic “wine”. Light footed, fruity with a pale straw yellow colour with green highlights. it has fresh, fruity aromas of green apple and grapefruit with subtle Muscat nuances. 

So this festive season whether you’re toasting to a special occasion or simply winding down after a long day, I invite you to try a good, the best you can find, non-alcoholic wine. Savour the moment and see what happens. 

Any recommendations for great non-alcoholic wines please pop them in the comments below. 

Slainte, 

Aisling Signature

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