The low and zero-alcohol market hit almost $10 billion in sales across 10 key global markets including Australia in 2021 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Industry research shows this trend is set to continue into 2022, with 71% of Australians planning to increase or maintain their no or low alcohol consumption, and 65 per cent saying they are keen to discover new low or no alcohol drinks to give a range of alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages.
Growing interest in the category has led Fourth Wave Wine to create Plus & Minus Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021, the first release in new premium range of Plus & Minus zero-alcohol wines.
Fourth Wave Wine launched its first zero-alcohol wines under the Plus & Minus label in 2020, sourced from world-renowned wine regions such as the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills in South Australia.
Advanced, state-of-the-art technology has enabled the alcohol to be extracted from the wine via a combination of hands-on methods, including the use of an ultra-fine membrane filter. This refined methodology involves a complex and detailed process that takes time and technique to remove the alcohol carefully and gently. According to Fourth Wave General Manager Ross Marshall, this ensures the integrity of the grape and the structure and balance of the wine is retained, resulting in an exceptionally high quality taste for a zero-alcohol wine.
This is followed by barrel-aging that ensures the base materials for this zero-alcohol wine are as good as it gets, which he says sets a new benchmark in zero-alchohol wine.
The Newcastle-based business owns a portfolio of more than 40 wine brands globally, including Elephant in the Room and organic wines No Evil and Tread Softly. Marshall said the company’s ambition is to have the “greatest portfolio of zero alcohol wines in Australia”.
“The demand for zero-alcohol wines has rocketed in the last 12 months with many Australians simply choosing to consume less or even no alcohol,” Marshall said. “This is seen across all age groups but particularly amongst 18–24-year-olds, where the number of non-drinkers has doubled in the past 20 years.”
According to Marshall, part of the reason for the alcohol-free trend was many young people are making either healthier choices or choices more suited to their lifestyle or beliefs. In many cases either reducing their alcohol or simply having decided not to start drinking alcohol at all. He said there was in many instances simply a preference to reduce, and also a growing number of ‘Sober Curious’ in the older age groups who are looking to moderate their drinking habits.
More experience in production in addition to new technology has aided the progression of the zero-alcohol category, allowing them to make better tasting wines compared to the past.
“It starts with choosing the best quality grapes, then skilfully extracting the alcohol to ensure that the flavour and vibrancy of the wine is retained, to give it an authentic, palate-pleasing taste and mouthfeel,” said Marshall.
Categories: New releases