Why Are No-Alcohol Wines All the Buzz?


Photo by: gilaxia ©gilaxia

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Wines with no or low alcohol content may sound, to buzz-loving oenophiles, like a day without sunshine, but (trend watch?) the New York Daily News has declared them to be “a thing.”

The paper relays that NA wine sales in the year ending January 28, 2017 have been a “robust” $99 million annually, according to Nielsen data, yet it notes that sales the year prior were actually 5.4 percent higher.

Low- and non-alcoholic wines run the gamut from Prosecco to Pinot Noir and are made by removing the alcohol from real wine using one of two processes — vacuum distillation or reverse osmosis. On the plus side, they’re lower in sugar and calories than regular wines, and they retain all the heart-healthy antioxidants of their alcohol-containing counterparts. On the down side, when it comes to taste, no- and low-alcohol wines have garnered reviews that are mixed at best.

Still, low- and non-alcoholic wines, like other non-alcoholic beverages, may be poised to take off big-time, according to the market research firm Mintel.

“Consumers have been cutting back on the amount of alcohol they drink for financial and health reasons and this presents a big opportunity for low-alcohol and non-alcoholic/alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines,” Mintel Senior Food & Drink Analyst Richard Caines commented in a recent industry report. Nevertheless, he added, the low- and non-alcoholic beverage market still has to overcome the “negative taste perceptions, low product visibility and limited promotional support” to hit its stride.

Sounds like the demand is there, but the product is still catching up.

While you’re waiting, feel free to kick back with another sort of non-alcoholic drink — perhaps a Non-Alcoholic Sangria, a Chocolate Martini Mocktail or Spiced Virgin Apple Martinis. Teetotalers, enjoy!

Photo: iStock

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