No & Low Alcohol Review

Every day I say to myself ‘Jack you must stop drinking so much alcohol!’  Thankfully my name is Tom…


The ‘no and low’ alcohol scene is gaining steady and reliable momentum. Can wine keep up we ask? Whilst my partner and I enjoy a good glug at home, we are inherently aware that we need to be careful with our regular consumption of the plonk.

‘Everything in moderation’ in our house means a mix of red, white and rosé….

We in the UK are all a little more health conscious these days. It is certainly true for the generation chasing me down this winding road of life. I had the pleasure of hosting a training exercise for a front of house team in the Midlands a few months ago. Of the fifteen, only four of them drank alcohol let alone wine!

Non-alcoholic wine is made in very much the same way as the normal juice we know and love. However, to remove that offensive bit that makes you feel good after a long day at the office we must put the wine through a further step. This being either vacuum distillation or reverse osmosis.

Vacuum distillation is performed under a reduced pressure. This allows the purification of compounds not readily distilled at ambient pressures. The technique separates compounds based on their boiling points. This process will remove most of the alcohol leaving only trace amounts. The temperature must be carefully monitored to avoid the wine boiling or burning whilst leaving the original flavour profile intact.

Reverse Osmosis allows wine to be pumped at a high pressure past a semi-permeable membrane to separate the water and ethanol. The filtrate which passes through the filter membrane contains virtually no Anthocyanins (the blue and red pigment found in the skins,) no Phenol Carboxylic acids (found in a variety of plant-based foods- in this case seeds, and skin) and no Tartaric, Malic or Citric Acids. In other words, taking the wine back from the alcohol so to speak.

The technicalities above aside for a moment, in our ‘expert’ and of course humble opinion - IT ISN’T BLINKIN WINE! In legal terms there is no such thing as ‘low or no alcohol wine’ as it must have a minimum alcohol level of 8% unless of course we are talking about our old seventies friend Moscato d’Asti. That is perhaps a story for another day…

Will it take off? Undoubtedly yes. There is a problem though, because at the moment, within this ever-growing area of the sector, most of it is, well a bit naff… Now I haven’t lost faith just yet, the beer and craft ale scene soon caught up and made some awesome flavorsome drinks. Gin followed thereafter, which has been very successful.

Perhaps we just need to be a little patient on the wine front. As the years move on, I am sure one day I will be saying to my now two-year-old daughter when buying her first bottle ‘Now back in my day….’ as she rolls her eyes thinking I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Who knows maybe I don’t…

If you cannot wait however, we do indeed stock some here at House of Townend. Our range is called ‘Bon Voyage’ and yes you guessed it, from France. It isn’t half bad either! Les Grands Chais de France was founded in 1979 by Joseph Helfrich, privileged partner of Vintners in the major regions of France. A major player in Alsace, Languedoc, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley and more recently Burgundy.

Sauvignon, Merlot, Rosé, Sparkling Rosé and Sparkling Chardonnay are all available to try on our website. Perfect for the driver, baby shower or dry January 2024.

-Sauvignon Blanc-

Pale yellow in appearance with faint green highlights. Expressive aromas of white flowers, pineapple, tropical fruit and mineral tones. Round and balanced on the palate, with flavours of lemon and grapefruit. Great with Seafood!


Deep garnet red in appearance. An expressive bouquet unveiling notes of red fruit, blackcurrant and cherry. Smooth and silky tannins with a long finish. Sunday roast comes to mind!


A very light rose colour in appearance. Aromas of red fruit with spicy and floral notes. Round and balanced on the palate. 100% Pinot Noir and great with Charcuterie.

-Sparkling Rosé-

A fresh and well-balanced alcohol-free sparkling wine with flavours and aromas of red fruits.

Not sure I should really be saying the next bit… it makes a nice long iced drink. Yes, ice in wine… sorry.

-Sparkling Chardonnay-

Pale gold in appearance with hints of green. Intense aromas of white flowers and citrus fruit. Creamy and smooth on the palate. Best served as an apéritif or dessert wine.


There you have it, happy drinking folks,


Regional Sales Manager



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