What is de-alcoholised wine?

What is de-alcoholised wine?

Dealcoholising wine is a process that involves removing or reducing the alcohol content from wine while preserving its flavour, aroma, and complexity. To some, it’s science. To others, it’s pure witchcraft. Want to decide what you think? Then read on!

The most common method of dealcoholising wine is through a process called vacuum distillation or spinning cone technology. This involves heating the wine under a vacuum, which lowers the boiling point of alcohol, causing it to evaporate at a lower temperature than water. The alcohol vapours are then condensed back into a liquid form and collected, leaving behind alcohol-free wine. Producers will often add in extras here to try to retain some of the body that gets lost when the alcohol is removed. But that’s a story for another time. 

Another method used to remove alcohol from wine is reverse osmosis (strong GCSE biology vibe with this one). In this process, the wine is passed through a semipermeable membrane that allows alcohol molecules to pass through while retaining the other components of the wine, such as flavour compounds and aromatics. The alcohol is then separated from the wine and collected, resulting in alcohol-free wine.

There are other methods but those are the main two so we’re going to leave it there for now for fear of turning into a chemistry lesson! 

Regardless of the method used, dealcoholising wine requires careful control and monitoring to ensure that the flavour, aroma, and complexity of the wine are preserved. Temperature, pressure, and time are all critical factors that must be carefully managed to achieve the desired result.

One of the challenges of dealcoholising wine is that alcohol contributes to the overall structure and mouthfeel of the wine. Therefore, removing alcohol can sometimes result in a wine that feels thin or lacking in body (a little too much like grape juice, basically). To address this, some producers may use techniques such as adding grape juice concentrate or other flavour-enhancing ingredients to the wine to enhance its body and mouthfeel.

In short, dealcoholising wine is a complex and delicate process that requires careful attention to detail and a deep understanding of the principles of winemaking (and a deep understanding of chemistry). Luckily, there are some super talented people out there making some delicious alcohol free products. We know, because we stock them!

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