Dinner without wine is like food without salt, unthinkable. I am not, however, totally unaware of my blood pressure and liver, which is why I am such a fan of the non-alcohol wine trend. Indeed, the alcohol-free drinks category is currently the fastest growing beverage sector in South Africa.
We have millennials to thank for this – them and the generation following them, whatever they’re called. It’s not just SA, studies show an increasing rejection of alcoholic drinks amongst these youngsters worldwide. There’s nothing like millions of people shunning your product to galvanize you into exploring new avenues! Much as I love wine-wine, I am utterly delighted with this development and alcohol-free wines now regularly make an appearance at my weekday dinner table.
The folks at Robertson Winery have a bit of a rep for being pioneering, innovative and forward thinking. So they were early adopters of this trend with the release of white and pink non-alcoholic sparkling wines back in 2012, both sweet. There’s nothing wrong with sweet sparkling wines, it’s just that I’ve been scarred. Years of too many appalling weddings in too many depressing school halls serving too much overly sweet, room-temperature sparklers will do that to you. It’s like Robertson heard me, because they’ve just come to the party with the release of a non-alcoholic white sparkling wine that’s dry. Thank you, thank you, thank you!