A glass of wine please, just hold the alcohol!

I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to review Eisberg’s non alcoholic wine. Eisberg produce the UK’s number one brand of non-alcoholic wine, and it is made in the same way to still wine but with the alcohol gently removed via an advanced technique, to ensure the original character and flavour of the wine remains. They have four varieties too, covering red, white and rosé.

I hadn’t heard of this brand previously, but then I shop at Sainsbury’s, and my local branch doesn’t appear to stock it (or any non alcoholic wine come to that, I have looked!).

I must admit, I was quite dubious about trying a ‘non alcoholic’ wine. Surely it would just taste like grape juice? Also, as someone mentioned to me, what is the point of drinking wine if it doesn’t contain alcohol?

Well, there are times when a non alcoholic drink is a must – during pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, if you are on particular medication for example. Plus, a drunken mummy is definitely not yummy!

I certainly wish low or non alcoholic beverages had been widely available in pubs and bars when I was pregnant, so that I could feel a little less like I was just the ‘designated driver’ for the night. It was hard to sit by and watch as my friends sipped their chilled rosé whilst I had yet another boring glass of diet coke or sickly orange juice.  Part of a night out for me is having an alcoholic drink, after all, I can have a glass of diet coke anywhere.

Choosing a bottle of wine in the supermarket to go with a nicely cooked dinner is also a satisfying thing to do. It seems to make that meal a little more special. It’s not much fun perusing the same old stuff in the soft drinks aisle yet again.

I was sent two bottles of Eisberg’s wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Reisling, and was immediately impressed by the packaging – smartly presented wine bottles with a description of the grapes and flavours, just as a classic bottle of wine would have. I believe the psychology of buying wine is partly influenced by the packaging, and I find that non alcoholic drinks tend to be packaged in quite a dull way. I certainly wouldn’t be ashamed to put these bottles into my supermarket basket or take to a friend’s house for a night in.

We weren’t too sure about the instructions to refrigerate both the red and white wines, usually a red would be left out and served at room temperature, however, we did put it in the fridge as guided, and just let it warm up slowly before we drank it.

I found that both wines had a lovely ‘wine type’ aroma, so far so good! I was almost tempted to dig out my notebook I received when I visited London’s Vinopolis which provides tips on how to ‘taste’ wine (as opposed to guzzling it down like pop, like most of us tend to do on a night out!).

Both wines were nice to drink – the red in particular had a full rich taste, however, the  after taste did have a distinct grape juice flavour to it. I guess the alcohol is usually the last part of the aroma you’d experience, which can add to the flavour and body of a wine. I felt that this didn’t detract too much from it though.

A benefit of these wines is that they only have 34 calories per 125ml glass – certainly an advantage over alcohol if you’re watching your weight (and who isn’t these days), especially as a lot of people forget how calorific alcohol can be.

Overall, I’d recommend the wines – the packaging was excellent, aromas and wine characteristics good – you could almost believe you were drinking the alcoholic variety if it wasn’t for the grape juice after taste, the price is great too – £3.20 – £3.60 a bottle, certainly cheaper than a normal bottle of wine. These drinks wouldn’t look out of place in a pub, and I wish more landlords would stock something like this.

Oh, and my favourite bit about trying these drinks? I didn’t have a hangover the next morning – definitely a bonus!

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