Friends, I have to put this out, truly the last edition for 2016. The FRE wine I mentioned in the last missive is horrible. I spent the time since writing about it to research it and finally tried it last night! It is going back to the store!
Here is how alcohol removed wine is made: first, it starts out just like regular wine but then they use a tower cone, developed by the Aussie’s to remove the alcohol. The tower is about 20 feet high and the wine enters at the top and percolates down. As it moves it has a centrifuge effect so that the alcohol is extracted. This I thought was brilliant. Wouldn’t you think that if it started as 12% alcohol, they would merely have 88% as an end product. No, and here is where the Trinchero’s come in. Ever hear of White Zinfandel, an oxymoron as zin is a red grape with red juice? But Sutter Home found a way to pull the skins immediately and end up with a blush wine…most certainly not white (Beringer produced one called Eye of the Swan).
However, not satisfied with 88% of the wine, rather than add more alcohol removed wine they simply add grape juice instead…yes, unfermented grape juice. The result is neither fish nor fowl but something that tasted awful (foul?) to me. I tried a Red Blend, Merlot, and the Brut I mentioned. Frankly, they are not even worth the $5.50, so all are going back. It was sweet and velvety from the sugar (unfermented) in the finished (?) product, and definitely not potable wine. Well, I am finished at least with it. Mea culpa for recommending this plonk…not even alcoholic plonk at that! At least with plonk you can at least still get a buzz on which dulls the brain to the awful taste.
The question is: why, after going through the entire fermentation process plus adding an expensive step didn’t they simply add more of the alcohol removed wine? My hunch is it would have at least been palatable. One can hope.
Have a happy new year but don’t lose control of your brain…unless at least you are in your own home and not going to ruin someone else’s new year…and perhaps your own.