Alcohol-free wine for the pure pleasure of the drink without alcohol
Alcohol-free wine is an alcohol-free drink made from de-alcoholized wine. A dealcoholization is a particular process that allows alcohol to be extracted from alcoholic beverages, including wine. There are three different ways of practicing dealcoholization:
osmosis – under suitable and delicate pressure and temperature conditions.
If done correctly, the dealcoholization does not cause the wine to lose any of its natural organoleptic properties. It has been a practice that has been in use for several years now and over time the machinery and equipment used during the process have significantly improved. It has become a simpler, faster and above all less invasive process. A process that today manages to exclusively affect ethanol, leaving the typical flavor and aroma of wine unaltered.
Alcohol-free wine and the European Commission
In June 2019 the European Commission presented the amendment to regulation no.1308 / 2013. The regulation is that relating to “dealcoholised wine” and “partially dealcoholised wine”. The first has an alcohol content not higher than 0.5% vol, while the second has a rate between 0.5% and 9%.
If the proposal were to pass alcohol-free wine it would enter the CAP package. In other words, de-alcoholised wine would be included as a product in the CMO, Common Market Organization, and thus becoming in effect a new route to follow to intercept new markets and a new type of consumer.
Dealcoholization: what it is
Alcohol-free wine is certainly nothing new. This product has been around for over ten years and the practice of dealcoholization has already been around the world. There are three different practices with which it is possible to practice dealcoholization: evaporation, distillation and osmosis (under very delicate pressure and temperature conditions).
The process is very complex and delicate, but it only takes a few minutes. The greatest risk throughout the process is to damage the aroma of the wine, consequently spoiling the flavor and aroma that characterize it. If the dealcoholization process is not carried out correctly, the organoleptic properties of the wine will be lost.
The technique that is applied today is the result of years of experience, tests and studies that have led to a substantial improvement of the tools used during the process. Today, in fact, much fewer reservoirs are needed to obtain an optimal result, but above all, today it is possible to hit only ethanol, without affecting the taste and aroma of the wine.
Don’t call it non-alcoholic wine
Defining alcohol-free wine as a non-alcoholic wine is wrong. The wine, such as a Rosato Veronese, rather than a Valpolicella Ripasso, are obtained from the fermentation of the grapes. Alcohol-free wine, on the other hand, is to be defined as an alcohol-free drink based on vinified and subsequently de-alcoholized grape must.
Alcohol-free wine has a booming market, especially abroad and especially in Germany. The Teutonic land is in fact the country where most wines with low alcohol content are consumed, with a percentage that is close to 35%. Those who approach this “novelty” of the sector do so out of consideration for health, to be careful of a healthy and balanced diet, or to avoid risking anything with the points of the license.
Alcohol-free wine has far fewer calories than alcoholic wine. In fact, recent studies have shown that the amount of calories per 10 cl of wine varies considerably as the alcohol content increases. The OIV, that is the International Organization of Vine and Wine, has also expressed itself in favor of alcohol-free wine. The OIV has regulated the matter by establishing that even if the alcohol content of a wine is reduced up to a maximum of 20%, it is still possible to talk about wine.
Alcohol-free wine: cultivation and harvest
The best alcohol-free wine that can be obtained is the one whose care starts directly from the vineyard. In fact, to produce wines with a low alcohol content, the work must start right from the fields and every phase of production must be meticulously cared for.
Starting from attention to the ripening of the grapes and coming to anticipate part of the harvest as much as possible. Harvesting grapes when the sugar content is not yet at the highest levels ensures an optimal starting point for an unparalleled final product. Exactly what happens with Essenza, the alcohol-free red wine from the Vogadori brothers’ cellar, produced in the Negrar area (Valpolicella Classica and Storica), aged for six months in French oak barrels.
It is a fruity wine with hints of cherry, black cherry, plum and ripe fruit. Soft and fresh and with a good persistence, it goes easily with everything: meats and cheeses