Why Are No-Alcohol Wines All the Buzz?



Photo by: gilaxia ©gilaxia

gilaxia, gilaxia

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

Keep Reading

Next Up

Cooking With Alcohol

Forget about getting tipsy – that’s not the point here. Cooking with a little liquor can be a healthy way to add flavor to recipes.

All of the Alfredo

Try Giada De Laurentiis’ classic, Food Network Kitchen’s hearty chicken variation and even lightened-up versions that still deliver the right creamy-cheesy notes (one’s even vegan!).

All the President's Meals

The Obamas share a favorite family meal and a new dish from the White House garden.

All the Zucchini Noodles

Just as one can never (never!) have too much pasta in life, the same can be true for zucchini noodles in season.

Raise a Toast: Understanding Alcohol's Calories

There's no need to deny yourself a drink or two at your next party -- it's knowing how to control all those calories that's the tricky part. Here's some things to keep in mind.

How to Pair Mixers with Alcohol

Some combinations are a match made in heaven. Pair these easily-found mixers with their compatible alcohols.

Beyond the Turkey: All About Wine on Thanksgiving, According to Alex Guarnaschelli

Hear from Alex Guarnaschelli about how to utilize wine during and after your Thanksgiving feast.

The Top Six Wine Varietals

Learning the basics of wine begins with becoming familiar with the big six varietals, which are the grapes that comprise the majority of the world's wines.