Non-Alcoholic Alternatives to Wine
Remember designated drivers or others who may not want wine, and include non-alcoholic beverages on your party supply list. Some refreshing alternatives:
- Sparkling water over ice with a wedge of fresh lemon or lime
- Chilled Sparkling Juice
- De-alcoholized wines
De-alcoholized wine comes in the same varieties as typical wines: Chardonnay, Merlot, Red, White, Riesling, White Zinfandel, Brut and Spumante. Like other wines, de-alcoholized wines begin life as grapes, and as in other wines, the grapes ferment, the sugar turns into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The process of removing the alcohol is slightly different at each vineyard. Some use heat or gravity or remove the alcohol and most of the water. This reduces the wine to syrup, which is then reconstituted into wine. Some wineries use water to reconstitute and others use grape juice or grape concentrate. While each process is individual to the vineyard, the outcome is the same: a product that looks and taste like traditional wine, but has less than one-half of one percent of alcohol.
D & W Fresh Market carries Sutter Home Fre wines in which all but a slight trace of the alcohol has been removed; but, as in non-alcoholic beer a trace does remain.
De-alcoholized wine has one-third to one-half the calories of its mainstream cousins, which means weight watchers can indulge in an occasional glass. The antioxidant properties often associated with red wine are present in the nonalcoholic version, as well.
De-alcoholized wine can also be used for cooking. Most non-alcoholic wines that are on the market today are really wines that have had the alcohol removed. Manufacturers do this by heating the wine until the alcohol is burned off, or evaporated.