The latest crop of no-alcohol wines to come my way are Edenvale minis. There’s a sparkling white, sparkling rosé, chardonnay and shiraz that come in 200ml screw-topped bottles. They’re clean, fresh, well turned-out drinks but, compared to real wine, they’re simplistic in aroma and flavour, thin on the palate and lack weight.
Sweetness (from grape juice) and acid are exaggerated to make up for alcohol. My advice is by all means to try these kinds of “wines”, but if – as I suspect – they fail to satisfy, just make those four glasses of real wine that you’re allowed to drink count.
If your specific health issues allow, you could try lower-alcohol, or alcohol-reduced, wine. New Zealand is making a concerted effort with this category. Five years ago, 18 Kiwi producers got together – with some government funding – to market NZ as the world’s leading source of low-alcohol (less than 10 per cent alcohol) wine.
In my experience, Forrest Estate’s The Doctors’ range is the stand-out; Stoneleigh and Wither Hills are others receiving kudos. All are about 9.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent alcohol. In theory, if you’re allowed four glasses of wine a week, this could be stretched to five when the alcohol is 9.5 per cent instead of 13 per cent.