Best of the no or low alcohol drinks
As the new working year kicks into gear after a long hot summer we look at the options.
It’s been many, many years since I last tried a bottle of non-alcoholic wine. It was certainly in the UK, and the taste sensation was bad enough to ensure that I didn’t go there again until now. However, I recently spied in my local bodega a couple of low alcohol (and by low I mean about 0.5 percent) wines among the usual cervezas sin. The results were surprising, and not entirely unpleasant.
Lets start with Emina sin, a Verdejo from Valladolid, recommendable by virtue of the fact that Emina (con) is a fresh and sprightly white that I’m happy to drink any day of the week. The low alcohol version (0.5 percent, and only 3.9 calories per 100 ml, €6.80) tastes unfortunately of a whole lot of sugar and not much else. I managed one sip of it, and threw the rest down the sink.
Torres Natureo (also 0.5 percent, same cals presumably, approx €7.50) is more of a grape juice than a wine, and you might consider that as you steel yourself to spend the money on it. Still, it’s a Muscat which gives it proper, grapey, appley flavours and aromas. It’s not too sweet and has a certain freshness and zing that make it a pleasant enough alternative to the real deal although you wouldn’t really call it wine. Served over a couple of cubes of ice, it’s quite a good aperitif.
Finally, and probably my favourite of the lot, there’s Cruzcampo Light (2.4 percent alcohol, 28 cals per 100 ml), which is infinitely superior to the no alcohol beers. Fresh, light and frothy it makes a perfectly acceptable lunchtime tipple with no afternoon sleepiness or residual hangover.