Most alcohol-free wines start as regular wine. Then, winemakers use technology to extract the alcohol while, in theory, leaving the flavor behind. Low-alcohol (or low-calorie) wines are either partly de-alcoholized or blends of both regular-strength and de-alcoholized wines. But my absolute favorite of all the nonalc options I tasted, Jukes, isn't technically a wine at all. Its creator, Matthew Jukes, steeps 20 to 25 ingredients (fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers) in organic apple cider vinegar and then pulls off and bottles the results. Jukes mimics yet doesn't mimic wine, and as my sommelier friend Sabra Lewis said, "This is exactly what I'd want if I wanted one more glass of wine at the end of the night but didn't want more alcohol in my system." To that, I say bravo.
Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine.
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