What is Non-Alcoholic Wine?
Everything you need to know about non-alcoholic wine: how it's made, what it tastes like, and how to drink it.
There are a lot of reasons people drink wine— wanting to connect with friends, celebrate a milestone or simply to pair with a meal. But the downsides of drinking alcohol, and a growing body of research pointing to negative brain and body health impacts, often outweigh the short term gratification.
For a growing base of wine enthusiasts, non-alcoholic wine serves as a satisfying substitute for a good glass of alcoholic wine— without the poor sleep quality, headaches, low energy and mood, and productivity hits that are common features of a morning after drinking.
Over the years, booze-free drinking has evolved from a relatively niche market to a cultural phenomenon as people focus on healthy living and demand for quality options has grown. A recent study reported that 47% of adults in the US and 66% of millennials are actively trying to drink less alcohol. The increasing preference for non-alcoholic wines in particular is driven by a desire for more complex, higher quality options. In fact, 60% of sales at the nation’s most popular NA bottle shop are non-alcoholic wine.
How is Non-Alcoholic Wine Made?
Many non-alcoholic wines go through the same traditional winemaking process of crushing, fermentation, and aging that traditional alcoholic wines go through. At Studio Null, we source the best-quality grapes from small, family-run vineyards. The grapes are then fermented into a premium, full-alcohol wine that’s rich in flavor and aroma.
The process of separating alcohol from wine, called dealcoholization, was first invented by Carl Jung at the end of the 20th century. Over the years, the process has been refined, resulting in a number of innovations and improvements that are elevating today’s offerings. Since alcohol is an integral part of winemaking, dealcoholization must be carefully calibrated to ensure that the original wine’s body, aroma, and character are not lost, and that balance is achieved.
There are several dealcoholization technologies and different methods are used depending on the original wine and the final goal. Studio Null employs vacuum distillation, which uses a strong pressurized force to distill the alcohol out without burning or boiling the wine at high temperatures. After going through this process, Studio Null’s non-alcoholic wines are left with an average alcohol content between 0.3% and 0.5% (similar to some kombuchas), versus the 12-14% that is common in most table wines.
What Does Non-Alcoholic Wine Taste Like?
Studio Null works with award-winning vineyards and top dealcoholization experts to ensure our wines are full of character even after the alcohol is removed. High quality non-alcoholic wines offer complex flavors and aromas just as a full alcohol wine would, but without the burn or push-back from alcohol. We are proud to say that during blind tastings sommeliers and other wine aficionados have been able to identify the varietals and terroir in Studio Null’s non-alcoholic wines.
Our first release includes three unique wines that demonstrate the variety of profiles available to non-alcoholic wine drinkers. First is a lively Sparkling Rosé, made from a blend of Portugieser and Silvaner grapes with notes of stone fruit and gooseberry. Second is a crisp Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris blend called Blanc Burgunder, which is dry and mineralic. Finally we have Prickly Red, a Tempranillo and Syrah blend with a lightly carbonic bite. Each of our wines are expressive and tasty, meant to stand alone or pair well with a meal.
How do you drink Non-Alcoholic Wine?
Whether enjoying a meal with friends or simply having a relaxing night in, non-alcoholic wine functions as a perfect substitute for its alcoholic alternative. We prefer not to be prescriptive and encourage people trying Studio Null for the first time to serve it however they’d like— chilled or room temperature, decanted or not, at the beach or at a seated dinner.
Though there’s no one way to enjoy our wine, the principles for drinking non-alcoholic wine versus alcoholic wine are similar. The refreshing Blanc Burgunder, for example, pairs well with soft cheeses and cacio e pepe pasta and our Sparkling Rosé, with its naturally high acidity, works well with salty foods like oysters or truffle fries. Since the Prickly Red has a bit more tannic structure it balances nicely with a brisket or charcuterie board.
Ultimately, taste is subjective and personal so we recommend pairing how you see fit and seeing how it goes. The way you choose to enjoy your non-alcoholic wine is up to you. From our perspective, drinking non-alcoholic wine is an opportunity to support creativity and focus on everything that you’re prioritizing in your life by looking beyond drinking instead of fixating on what you’re cutting out.