We must admit that in the past we sometimes had some problems with the taste of non-alcoholic wines. Sometimes you could accidentally find a slightly tastier bottle, but often the product wasn’t really ‘mature’ enough to be really tasty. Two years ago we actually had the same feeling with non-alcoholic beers. But look, over the past 24 months, thanks to new production techniques, an incredible number of non-alcoholic beers have seen the light, many of which are particularly tasty, tastier than we could have imagined two years ago. We could therefore label 2019 as the year that the non-alcoholic beer became mature. So we can only hope that 2020 will be the year that the alcohol-free wine definitely stands up.
In the second half of 2019, Vintense launched its O°rigin series. Four wines that take you through different wine regions. The range includes a red wine (Les Galets), a rosé (Mas Lavendier) and two white wines (Wild Springbok and Terra Australis). We tasted the two white wines. The Wild Springbok is, as the name suggests, inspired by South African wine and is made from the Chenin grape. The Terra Australis has an Australian character based on the Gewürztraminer and Riesling grapes.
Promoted to the cellar?
Although we have tasted a relatively large number of non-alcoholic wines in the past, whether or not for this site, we had not actually come across any wine from which we immediately wanted to stock up in the (wine) cellar. The number of times that we have spontaneously opened a bottle of non-alcoholic wine in front of the TV in the evening, or simply with a nice piece of fish, can therefore be counted on one hand.
So let’s start immediately by saying that there is a chance that these wines, or at least one of these two, will be the first to make it into the wine cellar, to make sure that there is always a bottle within reach. There is an essential difference between the two, you can read below what it is, but both are mature products that are easy to drink and that you can give to your guests who do not want to drink alcohol without worries.
Fruity or a bit more sour?
When you taste both wines side by side, you immediately taste the difference between the two. If you want to make a choice, we can easily help you on your way. Since the two wines are made from different grapes, it makes sense that they taste different. We do not want to delve too deeply into the taste profiles of both wines, but on the basis of the findings below you should be able to know which of the two wines you would prefer.
The Terra Australis tastes the most refreshing of the two because it also contains the most acids due to the presence of the Riesling grape. The Gewürztraminer provides a floral touch and a bit of a fruity aftertaste. The acidity of the Terra Australis also provides a small stimulus in the throat. Perhaps that is why we think this Terra Australis is the closest of the two to an alcoholic wine. That is less important to us, we have not been drinking alcohol for a long time, but it is perhaps the best choice to give to someone who only occasionally drinks something alcohol-free.
In the Wild Springbok, which is made from the Chenin grape, there is also some sour present, but a little less than in the Terra Australis. The Wild Springbok seems to taste a bit flatter than the Terra Australis. We certainly do not want to say that this Wild Springbok is monotonous in taste, because the fruit flavour is too prominent for that. You clearly taste the apple from the Chenin grape, but also a hint of pineapple. This makes the Wild Springbok by far the most fruity wine of this pair, but it never gets too sweet.
We hope that these two wines from the O°rigin series of Vintense are really the precursors of a tidal wave of tasty non-alcoholic wines that will flood us in 2020. Although up to now we have always been a bit skeptical about tasting an alcohol-free wine, these two might have changed this. We have already tested two red wines from Vintense in the past, and they were certainly ok too, but these two white wines are again a big step forward.