The rise of non-alcoholic and de-alcoholised drinks
Non-alcoholic and de-alcoholised beverages are gaining widespread popularity – even among drinkers of alcohol. Here’s what you need to know about this growing phenomenon.
Before you can begin to offer your guests well-cellared wines, you have to remember that the key factors to starting a home cellar are patience and forethought. So before you begin, decide what you want the end result to be. Do you want a collection that’s an investment or a well-rounded selection that will cater to your own likes as well as those of any unexpected dinner guests?
You may have noticed a wider range of non-alcoholic and de-alcoholised drinks on shelves.
If you’re looking for an alternative to alcoholic beverages, these wines are great in social settings or just as a drink to enjoy when unwinding after a long, busy day.
A new outlook
We spoke to the Mindful Drinking Festival organisers, Barry Tyson and Sean O’Connor, about the cultural shift that’s happening around alcohol consumption. “People are becoming more aware of their health – both mental and physical – and are more mindful of what they put into their bodies,” says Barry.
There’s even a hashtag for this emerging demographic: #sobercurious. It was first coined by New York journalist Ruby Warrington, who went on to write a bestseller of the same name. Being sober curious is about rethinking one’s relationship with alcohol, as opposed to ending it
Why not stick to water?
That’s easy – alternatives should feel like a choice, not a compromise. “Most people have been drinking alcohol in social situations for most of their adult lives, and they associate the taste of alcohol with enjoyable times,” says Barry.
So shouldn’t the alternative taste similar? While the most obvious characteristic of alcohol is its mood-altering effect, it also has a specific mouthfeel, body and complexity – three attributes that, until recently, had been largely lacking in non-alcoholic beverages.
Things are changing
In 2018 alcohol consumption fell by 1.6%, according to the International Wine and Spirits Record. It’s a no-brainer, then, that alcohol-producing companies and craft-alcohol producers would start bottling non-boozy alternatives. One of the most appealing aspects of mindful drinking is that it’s not an all-or-nothing game. Being sober curious means expanding your choice in drinks and exploring your personal relationship with alcohol, not forgoing alcohol altogether.
What to drink when you’re not drinkingWine o’clock:
Leopard’s Leap Natura De-Alcoholised Classic White
Van Loveren Almost Zero Ravishing Rosé
Leopard's Leap Natura De-Alcoholised Classic Red
Van Loveren Almost Zero Wonderful White
Van Loveren Almost Zero Radiant Red
Robertson Winery Non Alcoholic Sweet Sparkling Pink
J.C. Le Roux Le Domaine Non-alcoholic
J.C. Le Roux La Fleurette Non-alcoholic