The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Cameron Douglas MS wine review: Low- and zero-alcohol wines

It’s official, low-alcohol and zero-alcohol wines are a thing.

The momentum that has brought this category to the fore has been bubbling away for several years already, with the health and fitness sector grabbing hold of the idea.

The low-calorie, low-impact on the body, and sober driver solutions have been driving the category as well, and most recently, the Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z-ers have looking for something new.

It is not about alcohol anymore, it’s about discovering a beverage that mum and dad don’t subscribe to.

Low- and no-alcohol wine-based beverages are also a thing.

It is a small sector of the market and is stable. Low-alcohol wines can be made naturally – New Zealand brands such as Yealands and the classic wines of Germany, such as Joh Jos Prüm, are two good examples; then there’s the de-alcoholised wines using semi-permeable membranes or spinning cone technology.

At the end of the day, it’s part of the market – but what do you think?

Our Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas explores some of the options in this month’s tasting guide, here are some of his top picks…

Selaks Origins Lighter Piquette Rosé 2022
Crisp and refreshing textures with a salivating mouthfeel, aromas and flavours of cranberry and strawberry, some red melon and a touch of spice. Balanced and well made in a ready to drink style. Best drinking from 2023 through 2025.
Points: 90
RRP: $17.00
Distributor: Constellation Brands NZ Ltd
Phone: (0800) 662 456

Ara Zero Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc NV
Aromas and flavours of lemon and apple, some tropical fruits and a natural spice quality. Balanced and refreshing on the palate with a green herb and peach flavours then some tropical fruits and apple notes. Balanced and well made with medium+ acidity then a return to tropical fruit moments. Best drinking from day of purchase through end of summer 2025.
Points: 89
RRP: $19.99
Distributor: Giesen Group
Phone: (03) 344 6270

Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut NV
Fruity, sparkling and refreshing wine with a bold bubbles and easy mousse texture. Flavours of green apple and some citrus, a whisper of cider and pressed white flowers. Crisp and dry, a true Brut expression with a backbone of acidity and balanced even finish. Ideal for beach parties and sober drivers with best drinking from 2023 through end of summer 2025.
Points: 88
RRP: $20.99
Distributor: Giesen Group
Phone: (03) 344 6270

To read all of Cameron’s wine reviews, click here!

Cameron Douglas is New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier. An experienced wine commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant, he is the Beverage Director & Group Sommelier for Rodd & Gunn and is the Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association. Formerly academically in charge of the Wine & Beverage Programme at AUT in Auckland, Douglas has also consulted to a variety of establishments, taking care of their wine lists, wine and food pairings, and staff training matters, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

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