Wine Culture Magazine

Left to right: Eins Zwei Zero sparkling Riesling, Lautus rosé and Benjamin Bridge piquette.

The demand for low- and no-alcohol beverages just continues to grow. But while there are plenty of good n/a beers and sprits these days, it’s been a lot tougher to create a good de-alcoholized wine.

Now Soft Crush, a spinoff from Calgary’s Crush Imports, has managed to round up some surprisingly palatable n/a vinos from around the world. All are made with vitis vinifera grapes, follow classic wine-making techniques and come from respected wine regions.

In a wide-ranging tasting of the products, the Ein Zwei Zero range from Germany’s Leitz Wines was consistently the cleanest and best-balanced, especially the higher-acid whites. (The sparkling Riesling was a particular hit.)

The Lautus de-alcoholized wines from South Africa were also fresh and delicious. And the piquettes from Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge were terrific thirst quenchers.

Overall, blends were more successful than single varieties—the fruit might remain in a de-alcoholized Chardonnay or Cabernet, but the texture and complex secondary characteristics tend to disappear along with the alcohol, especially in the red wines.

In all cases, bubbles made up for a lot, so if in doubt, opt for the fizz, which seems like a good motto for life in general. 

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