Alcohol-free wine?! Really? Give it a go to get through Dry January | Alistair Gibson

Well, we are almost half way through the now traditional ‘Dry January’. If you are taking part, how are you doing?

Torres Natureo Rose 2019.
Torres Natureo Rose 2019.

Whether you are abstaining totally or just looking to reduce your alcohol intake for the month, here is a quick guide to wines to make the rest of the journey a little easier.

The growth of low and no-alcohol wines is one of the biggest trends in the industry. Sales have risen by almost a third in recent years and there is no doubt the quality has improved significantly.

One the most convincing fizzes I have tasted is Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee, Australia (Laithwaites, Sunday Times Wine Club £4.99). Chardonnay-based, the alcohol is removed by the spinning cone process, a method increasingly used to make the best no-alcohol wines.

The aromas are quite convincing with some apple and citrus notes.

The palate does have some body and it all finishes with a pleasant, if slightly sweet, finish.

Not bad at all and would work as an aperitif or with birthday cake if you needed something to celebrate with this month.

In Spain, the well-known Torres Family have been making no-alcohol wines for years and their Natureo range is well made and vegan friendly. Of the three wines in the range I think Natureo Rose 2020 ( Waitrose £4.99, Sainsbury’s £5.50 – both on offer), which is made from syrah and cabernet sauvignon, is the stand-out.

It’s fresh, has some crunchy red fruits and a lively, off-dry finish.

Non-alcoholic reds are harder to make work than whites or rosé and Natureo Red 2020 (Waitrose £4.99, Sainsbury’s £5.50 – both on offer) is one of the more successful ones. A blend of garnacha and syrah, the nose is inviting with dark fruits and even a little spice.

It falls away a little at the end, but you could happily pair this with a tomato-based pasta dish.

Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel Rosado 2020, Spain (Laithwaites, Sunday Times Wine Club £5.29) is not alcohol-free, but it is low alcohol at five per cent and works well if you are not fully abstaining.

It’s pale in colour and slightly fizzy with redcurrants and cranberries on the nose and a lively, juicy palate with a semi-sweet finish.

It’s a wine that wine snobs would turn their noses up at but well chilled, its lots of fun on its own or served with a fruits of the forest pavlova.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.