Apart from the conventional non-alcoholic beverages on the market today - I wanted to explore those that are not so conventional - can a de-alcoholised wine or beer taste anywhere near as nice as the real thing? Or is it just as disappointing as carob compared to chocolate?I decided to see what's available (in the name of research).
Maggie Beer's Sparkling Ruby Cabernet
This is a really pleasant, flavourful drink which might benefit even more from crushed ice and lime wedges. At about $15 it's a nice change from the usual bubbles and definitely not expensive.
Recommended by none other than Derryn Hinch, I found the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon at my local Coles supermarket for $7.99 per bottle. Upon opening each bottle - I got a distinct sweet aroma of grape juice and although there was definitely a hint of the real thing, I found that the red wine lacked body and finish - while the white had less 'grape juice' overtones and a bit more flavour. Interestingly - my non wine drinking husband enjoyed the red much more than any other wine he's tried.
a Californian range whose Blanc achieved a Gold Medal against regular wines in LA many years ago. Thomas Dux carries this range and I purchased the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Brut Cuvee at about $17 each. I tried the red with a wine friend of mine and we both agreed that while it still had a sense of wine, it was lacking in body once again. I described it as 'empty'. I'd purchased the Brut Cuvee to enjoy on a weekend away with my mother and sister, and although it had the colour, fizz and smell of a standard sparkling, once again the flavour wasn't quite there. I didn't finish my second glass.
Aigua de Moritz
Our local wine store had a de-alcoholised beer for sale this month, so I grabbed a couple to share with my husband on a humid evening. It is made in XXX and the colour is similar to a Corona. The first taste is enjoyable and refreshing but the last taste in my mouth was something else.
The moral of the story
As with most things, an imitation is exactly that - an imitation (ie not quite the real thing). I would have enjoyed a lime & soda much more than any of these beverages and although I'm sure they have their place, my palate would prefer the real thing or nothing.
If you're looking for some more info about Non-Alcoholic beverages try these sites http://www.clearmind.com.au/