Non-alcoholic wine, beer and cocktails have often seemed like sad and unsatisfying alternatives to “real” drinks – something you’d only turn to when necessary. But there’s a shift happening, and non-alcoholic drinks are becoming more accepted and trendy. There are new brands entering the marketplace all the time and celebrities like Katy Perry, Blake Lively and Luann de Lesseps are putting their clout behind new products.
Part of this shift in perception can be attributed to a widening interest in “mindful drinking” – the practice of being more deliberate and thoughtful about your drinking. It doesn’t mean suddenly becoming a teetotaler and abstaining from alcohol all the time, but, exploring your relationship with alcohol and being specific about when you want to drink it. Embracing moderation in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
But not wanting to drink alcohol doesn’t mean you don’t want to drink delicious wine or take part in the rituals that come with drinking: using a beautiful glass, clinking with your friends for a toast, popping a cork in celebration. And you may also want to avoid drawing attention to yourself with an obvious non-alcoholic drink like soda or water or juice. So how do you enjoy an adult beverage, but leave the alcohol behind?
There’s a need for premium wines that are deliberately developed to be non-alcoholic and show respect for the most discerning customers. I’m excited to be incorporating these wines into Oceano’s offerings and I want to make non-alcoholic wines that I want to drink on a daily basis and that satisfy my pursuit of excellence. We want to prove that wine lovers don’t have to lower their standards when it comes to non-alcoholic wine.
Our addition of non-alcoholic wines is mostly about giving an ultra-premium choice to wine lovers who choose to eliminate or reduce their intake of alcohol, but it’s also given me the opportunity to reflect on my own relationship with alcohol. I’ve been in the wine industry for the greater part of my life and have realized I would greatly benefit from reducing my imbibing from every day to only on the weekends. My choice is moderation and my journey to drink less began on January 1st. I intend to continue to drink less as a year-round lifestyle decision, but I’m not willing to give up wine. So I am drinking non-alcoholic wines and alcohol-free cocktails during the week.
Oceano’s non-alcoholic wines will be made with the same care as the wines that we already produce. They will come from a designated vineyard and have a specific vintage. And after they’ve aged, they’ll go through a special additional process to remove the alcohol.
We are starting with our 2022 vintage of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are currently aging in barrels at the winery in California. We’ll be going through rigorous taste tests and evaluating samples of the wine that have been dealcoholized in order to develop our formulas for doing this on a large scale. We’ll also decide if we are going to blend a Rose and add it to our offering. Stay tuned!
The process of removing the alcohol from the wine is fascinating and we’ll delve more into how we are working with BevZero to achieve that in a future blog.
One of the tricky parts is that when you remove the alcohol, you also remove the aromas. But we can actually isolate the aromas, save them, and add them back in. Once we remove the alcohol, we’ll also be able to determine if we need to make any special adjustments to maintain the balance, texture and body.
Some of the other things we’re learning about in this process are nutritional labels and ingredient lists, which have to be added for non-alcoholic wines. I think is a wonderful way to be transparent with the customers and help them understand what they are consuming. It also supports my goal of always keeping our customers educated about what they are drinking.
We’ll be posting more updates on our new non-alcoholic wines in this space in the coming months leading up to our launch in June!
A unique combination of education, experience, and a passion for wine inspired me to launch Oceano Wines and I am happy to share my knowledge. Send me your questions!