After initial strangers: Wine without alcohol is slowly coming out of the niche

Sugar-free, gluten-free or low-carb: many nutritional trends often follow the idea of ​​omitting something completely.

After initial strangers: Wine without alcohol is slowly coming out of the niche

Sugar-free, gluten-free or low-carb: many nutritional trends often follow the idea of ​​omitting something completely. This also applies to alcohol in drinks. When it comes to wine, too, people are increasingly looking for a non-alcoholic version.

Alcohol-free beers can be found on almost every drinks menu, and there is a huge selection in stores. Wine without alcohol, on the other hand, is still rare. But he is coming. More and more winegrowers are bringing dealcoholized wines onto the market because the demand for them is increasing - because many people now want to or have to consciously avoid alcohol, as industry experts report.

"Komma, Nix" is the name of the wine that the wine group "Frank

Customer requests were also the reason why the Würzburg winery Juliusspital included alcohol-free wine in its range two years ago. After a rather cautious start, the circulation was doubled in the second year, says sales manager Tanja Strätz.

If you look at the total wine consumption in Germany last year, according to the German Wine Institute in Bodenheim near Mainz, alcohol-free wine did not even make up one percent - but the trend is growing. This is also shown by the fact that there have recently been contractors who dealcoholize smaller quantities of wine for wineries, according to spokesman Ernst Büscher.

Removing alcohol from wine has been a tradition at Carl Jung in Rüdesheim for 115 years. The family business produces around 10 million liters of non-alcoholic vegan wine a year using vacuum distillation. It exports most of it, 70 percent, to Scandinavia, Canada and Great Britain, among others. "Germany jumped on the bandwagon relatively late - partly because of the younger generation, which eats more consciously and sometimes does without alcohol," says Bernhard Jung. From his point of view, this also explains why the organic sector is currently showing the strongest growth. "It goes well together: non-alcoholic, organic and vegan."

But so far, the alcohol-free organic wine is still the niche within the niche. Wine expert Ernst Büscher estimates that its proportion should be in the per thousand range. The organic wine importer Peter Riegel from Orsingen on Lake Constance is working to change that. Two years ago, the family business started with its first alcohol-free wine. It now has several non-alcoholic wines and sparkling wines in its range. This year alone, six new products have been added. Visitors could taste these at the world's largest organic food fair, Biofach, in Nuremberg in the summer.

Pappsüß, similar to grape juice - that's how wines without alcohol tasted a few years ago. In terms of taste, a lot has happened in the meantime, says Managing Director Felix Riegel. Nevertheless, one should not compare alcohol-free wine with wine with alcohol. "You have to think of it as a separate category," he says. It's similar to non-alcoholic beer.

Nevertheless, there is a huge difference to alcohol-free beer, which is also responsible for the fact that alcohol-free wine is not yet so widespread. "Alcohol is a flavor carrier," explains expert Isabell Bitzenhofer at Peter Riegel. "The withdrawal throws everything out of balance." But since beer has a much lower alcohol content than wine, it doesn't weigh that heavily.

According to her, organic wines without alcohol are made even more difficult by the fact that additives such as disinfectants that make the wine durable after alcohol withdrawal are not allowed. Instead, the dealcoholized wine is pasteurized, i.e. heated in the bottle. These additional work steps are partly reflected in the price, says Bitzendorfer. "But consumers don't yet have the feeling that wine without alcohol means more effort."

Bernhard Jung still sees great potential for non-alcoholic wines. This is why his company will put a second dealcoholization plant into operation this year. And also with the winegrowers' association "Frank

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