This is something that we hear all the time. People ask their friends on Facebook and Twitter ‘Does anyone know of a good alcohol free wine?’
Someone always replies ‘Why bother? It’s just a grape juice’…
I’ll give you three reasons why it’s not.
Number one – grape juice, or at least 100% pure grape juice, is made from crushed and fermented grapes.
Alcohol-free wine is made from crushed fermented grapes, ie from alcoholic wine.
Now, when the grapes ferment, the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol but it also does something else.
It adds what’s called secondary flavors to the grape.
So that’s another flavour on top of the natural flavor of the particular grape used in the wine.
Number two – grapes are very sweet.
This is a de-alcoholised wine from Carl Jung and this is a 100% grape juice from a supermarket.
Calories per 100 millilitres – 16.8 in the wine, 69 in the grape juice – more than four times as many
Sugar in the wine 3.5 grams, sugar in the grape juice 17 grams -there’s only 10.6 grams in CoCa-Cola.
Number three – grapes contain polyphenols.
These are antioxidants and are believed to protect the heart, lowering bad cholesterol, and preventing blood clots.
Now, while you can get these in both grape juice and alcohol-free wine, unless you’re drinking 100% percent pure grape juice you won’t be getting as many, and if you are drinking enough you’re still getting all the extra calories and all the extra sugar.
Actually here’s a bonus reason.
Even the smallest amount of alcohol in a drink helps the flavor in your mouth.
That’s why so many soft drink companies add a small amount of alcohol to their soft drinks, like colas and orange juices.
You’re allowed to put 0.5% in without putting it on the label.
But that means that the alcohol free wine with up to 0.5% alcohol has increased flavor in the mouth.
So there we are – three, no, four reasons why alcohol-free wine is not grape juice.
One – less sugar fewer calories.
Two – the full benefits of the polyphenols.
Three – a more mature and developed taste.
And four – the small amounts of alcohol helps that taste taste even better.
So the next time someone says to you ‘Isn’t alcohol-free wine just a grape juice?’ you know exactly what to say to them!