Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 584

13 JANUARY 2022 NO & LOW ADVERT I S ING PROMOT ION | 9 LEITZ MEET THE PRODUCER I t was during a trip to Norway in 2015 that German winemaker Johannes Leitz was asked about supplying high-end grape juice to a famous Scandinavian restaurant. Aware that the high sugar content in grape juice was not the best choice to pair with grilled fish and mussels, Johannes promised to work on developing a food-friendly, alcohol-free Riesling instead. Less than a year later, Leitz Eins Zwei Zero was born, now joined in the range by an alcohol-free sparkling variety and a rosé. “The challenge of alcoholfree production is always to fill the gap created when the alcohol has been removed,” says director of sales Jan Schmidt (left). “Like fat, alcohol is a transporter of flavour and when it’s gone, that’s when our mission starts. Residual sugar does the work in our Riesling.” The wine is created using gentle vacuum distillation to remove the alcohol. “We chose this modern technique, because it allows us to extract the alcohol under extremely low pressure and temperature (around 30°C) without losing any of the flavour. We weren’t the first German winery to create de-alcoholised wine, but we were the first VDP producer [winegrowers who commit to comply with a strict set of rules] to do trials using our own wines rather than buying in poor-quality base wines. The result is Leitz Eins Zwei Zero – a fine white that pairs beautifully with crostini or Asian chicken casserole.” Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Offer £5.99/75cl (was £6.99) Fresh and citrussy, with juicy stone-fruit flavours, this alcohol-free wine captures all the natural vivacity of the Riesling grape. 0.0% ABV SPOTLIGHT ON. . . WINE Ebony Vale Chardonnay £3.29/75cl The grapes for this low-alcohol Chardonnay are harvested early to ensure the sugar levels – and therefore the alcohol – are kept low, so that only the gentlest de-alcoholisation process is required. Fresh and juicy with notes of apple, pear and vanilla. 0.05% ABV Torres Natureo Muscat Offer £4.99/75cl (was £5.99) An expressive and aromatic de-alcoholised white wine made in Spain from the full-åavoured Muscat grape. Charming notes of quince, pear and white åowers are followed by a änish that’s long and silky. Serve well-chilled to really maximise its freshness. 0.0% ABV Torres Natureo Rosé Offer £4.99/75cl (was £5.99) Spanish winemaker Torres has been a real innovator in de-alcoholised wine and this fresh, fruity rosé is proof of that. Copper-pink with delicate cherry-jam aromas, it has sweet red-berry notes and less than half the calories of a regular wine. 0.0% ABV De-Alcoholised Fre Premium Red £3.49/75cl Black grapes ripened by the Californian sun give this de-alcoholised wine a deep, ruby-red colour, juicy black cherry aromas and a rich, smooth palate that has just a subtle hint of smokiness. A åavoursome, full-bodied match for main courses. 0.05% ABV De-alcoholised wines can give their boozy cousins a run for their money – what they lack in alcohol, they make up for in åavour Thanks to some big names in wine, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol versions have come a long way in the last few years. It’s now possible to enjoy a glass of red, white or rosé that tastes almost exactly like the real thing. Really top-quality fruit is key to all the alcohol-free wines stocked at Waitrose – the grapes they are made from are the same as those used for traditional winemaking. The de-alcoholisation techniques the producers use are also very gentle, which helps to preserve the freshness and character of the fruit. The result is wines that let each grape variety shine – whether it’s a fruity, floral Muscat from Spain, a crisp rosé or a Californian Zinfandel. Some are great apéritifs, others are fantastic with food, and just about all of them are low in calories. If you haven’t had an alcohol-free wine in a while, it might be time to take another look. *Selected stores