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Alcohol-free wines
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Many people choose to forgo alcohol in January. A detox after the festive period combined with a desire to lose a few pounds, are just two of the reasons why people sign up to this unofficial 'lent'.

You can stick to juices, herbal teas and soft drinks but de-alcoholised wines are another option and your Bite editor sampled a few to see how they compare to 'the real thing'.

Wines were purchased from the Alcohol Free Shop online and arrived with notes explaining that they are made in exactly the same way as 'normal' wines. So the grapes are grown, tended, pressed, fermented and crafted into wine before the alcohol is removed. They urge you to keep an open mind and not compare them to closely their alcoholic doppelgangers.

Carl Jung Sparkling White Wine, £4.99, 0.2% abv.

This is a medium dry sparkler with delicate flavours, it has lots of bubbles and avoids the sweetness characteristic in many of many alcohol free white wines. I would recommend for a 'champagne moment' minus the alcohol and hangover.

Car Jung Premium, Merlot Red Wine, £4.99, 0.2% abv.

This red was a bit of a challenge at first but it improved with tasting. It complemented pasta well and had good berry flavours. Importantly, it tasted like an adult drink and could be sipped like a bonafide wine.  You are never going to get the complexity of a luscious Montepulciano but if you are serious about staying off the sauce it will serve a purpose.

Carl Jung Premium Riesling, £4.49, 0.2% abv.

Not so good.  It had a pronounced flavour of apples and was quite sweet which appears to be common with many similar supermarket alcohol free white wines.  Either it is more difficult to make a de-alcoholised white wine or one has to look a bit harder to find a good example.

Carl Jung Premium Rosé, £3.89, less than 0.5% abv.

 Much better than the white. This would complement food well and was considered very 'gluggable'. Closer in taste to its 'real-life' counterpart in my opinion than either the white or the red.

The Alcohol free Shop also sells a variety of beers, ciders, juices and cocktail mixes. The wines contain very few calories and it is worth investigating if you are looking for alternative to alcohol.   www.alcoholfree.co.uk

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