January is the month of resolutions but while our culture has programmed us to think about breaking certain habits and trying to follow a healthier path, the experts reckon small goals are more achievable and therefore more worthwhile.
A month may seem like a long time, and you may need assistance to stay dry in January. One of my best tips is to find a substitute non-alcoholic drink: beer or wine, which can provide a unique experience. Since wine retains its health-promoting properties and classic taste during de-alcoholisation, abstainers and those who want to keep their driver’s license can enjoy the pleasures of wine anywhere and at any time without restrictions.
What is the different?
The answer is very simple: in terms of taste, almost nothing. The colour and bouquet of non-alcoholic wine are the same as those of traditional wine, and while many have misconceptions about the taste of alcohol-free wines, but your doubts disappear the moment the alcohol-free wine reaches your mouth.
The interesting thing about the drink is that the dealcoholization technology treats the wine gently. This ensures that the full aroma, body and taste of the wine are better preserved.
How the alcohol-free wine made?
The initial process is exactly the same as a wine with alcohol. The grapes are harvested and vinified in the traditional way. But after fermentation, the wine goes through dealcoholization through a process called ’spinning cone’ which allows it to maintain the natural aromas and flavours of the grape varieties that compose it. This technology results in dealcoholization to values close to zero; when the wine reaches an alcohol content of less than 0.5%, it is considered a non-alcoholic wine. And the process is done without any addition of sugar or water.
How to drink non-alcoholic wines?
These wines have less than 0.5% alcohol, so I suggest you drink them very cool, at around 5ºC, and that includes the red! And because the wines are not aged in wood, they are not meant to be stored and must be consumed young – in the same year of production. Non alcoholic wines go well with dishes like grilled fish, fresh salads, pasta, vegetarian food, and even pizza.
Increasingly, wine producers around the world are coming out with alcohol-free products, aimed at wine lovers who, for whatever reason, prefer to avoid alcohol.
José Maria da Fonseca was a pioneer in terms of creating the first Portuguese alcohol-free wines, and the Lancers Free was the first Portuguese non-alcoholic wine, launched in 1944.
Henry Behar, an American businessman visited José Maria da Fonseca, before the end of the Second World War, in search of the ideal wine for the United States market. The winemaker presented its rosé wine, which immediately pleased and served as a starting point for the creation of Lancers rosé. Lancers was an immediate success in North America and sales reached 1 million bottles by the late 70s.
From the start, Lancers Free white and rosé wines proved to be an appealing, easy-to-drink favourite, with a readable name. The wine was christened ‘Lancers’ in homage to one of Henry Behar’s favourite paintings: ‘Las Lanzas’ by Velázquez.
Lancers Rosé Alcohol-Free is a wine of pink colour with reddish hints and the aroma of red berries, roses, and tropical fruit. It is a light, soft, fruity, and refreshing wine with a medium-long finish. The Lancers White Alcohol-Free wine presents a citrus-yellow colour. Tropical notes of pineapple aromas on the nose. A pleasant, fine, light wine with a refreshing, medium-long finish. It should be drunk very cool, at about a temperature of 5 °C, and pairs well with salads, chicken dishes, as well as Italian and Mexican foods.
Alcohol-free wines are a growing trend, and José Maria da Fonseca’s O%riginal was created in order to reflect the benefits and characteristics of the product itself. A real, authentic, non-alcoholic wine (< 0.5%) it gives you the complete wine experience without alcohol.
This innovation arrived with a complete range of alcohol-free monovarietal wines available in red, white, and rosé, full of aroma and taste typical of the grape varieties. A great way to enjoy your wine and with a zero percent chance of a hangover.
The Syrah red grape variety gave rise to the O%riginal Alcohol-Free Red and O%riginal Alcohol-Free Rosé, using the traditional winemaking method i which while the alcohol is gently removed by a physical process, the wine’s delicate aromas and flavours are preserved. These wines reveal smooth profiles with exuberant aromas that are easy to drink.
In the O%riginal Alcohol-Free White, it is the Moscatel Galego that brings all its citrus and floral characteristics so typical of the grape variety, presenting a lime-green color, where the fruity and refreshing flavours stand out together.
0% alcohol beers are also a market staple in most parts of the world these days and Portugal is no exception. The biggest beer brands of this country, Sagres and Super Bock also offer alcohol-free options.
The alcohol-free version of Sagres is a crisp and clean Portuguese Pilsner. Easily recognised by anyone who’s ever been on holiday in Portugal, this pale golden pilsner has a crisp dry character and pleasant refreshing bitterness, recalling tastes of the Algarve.
And in 2021, the Portuguese brewery launched Sagres 0.0 Preta – the first alcohol-free black beer in Portugal. Developed through a rigorous cold fermentation process, which implies high control of fermentation conditions, the drink has a stable foam and copper reflections, and offers a perfect balance of flavours between roasted coffee and sweet caramel, which blends with its bitter taste.
Non-alcoholic Super Bock is an alcohol-free pilsner from the Portuguese brand, Super Bock, made by removing the alcohol from the Super Bock lager, retaining the flavuor and characteristics of the original beer. With its 0.5% ABV, the beer does contain some residual alcohol, but it’s considered non-alcoholic. Pouring a golden colour, it offers up aromas of malt with hints of grassy hops. It is refreshing, and is ideal for serving chilled at any time you like!
The interest in alcohol-free wines is increasing. And based on the surveys, it seems that the dry January challenge is bringing real results. During this period it is common for people to lose their constant alcohol cravings and realize drinking need not occupy such an ample space in their lives.
Dry January is therefore not just a fad, but a really useful habit that should be added to the calendar. I wish you for your challenge good luck!
Words: Lívia Mokri