Low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks have taken the South African market by storm but, while there’s an abundance of both low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer options, and even alcohol-free gin and tonic on the market, there aren’t many low-alcohol or alcohol-free options for wine drinkers to enjoy. A few months ago, Van Loveren changed the game with the introduction of its first low-alcohol wine-like drink, Almost Zero Wonderful White ‘wine’. Now they’re giving consumers even more choice with the addition of Van Loveren Almost Zero Ravishing Rosé and Radiant Red to the popular Wonderful White.

The wine-like drink with almost no alcohol offers wine lovers a low-calorie, low-alcohol alternative to wine. The drink taps into the growing trend of fitness-focussed healthy living, offering wine lovers a unique drink offering with a distinctive wine character, but with far less guilt. While Almost Zero looks like wine and tastes like wine, the de-alcoholised drink has less than 0,4% alcohol and 75% less kilojoules than normal wine.

The alcohol in one glass of wine is equivalent to 38 glasses of Almost Zero while one entire bottle of Almost Zero has the same kilojoules as just one glass of regular wine! Plus, there’s only 2.2g/100g of sugar and 4.2g/100g of carbohydrates in each bottle. To put it even more simply, ten glasses of Almost Zero has the same sugar as one glass of commercial orange juice, making it a great choice for those looking for something delicious to enjoy at a braai, picnic, or special occasion without having to compromise on their health and fitness goals. Banting-friendly, Almost Zero is the ideal alternative whether you’re cutting back or going dry. It’s perfect for business lunches, sport enthusiasts, teetotalers, and designated drivers.

Van Loveren Almost Zero

The near-absence of alcohol means by law it can’t be called wine, although this de-alcoholised wonder begins life as such. To remove the alcohol, it is gently spun, allowing the wine to spread thinly across steel cones and the alcohol to evaporate. High precision ensures that what’s left is distinctive wine body, colour and flavour. Except now, with close to all the alcohol gone, Almost Zero is the healthier option with the same great taste.

But what about the taste? I had the opportunity to try out all three ‘varietals’ and was pleasantly surprised by the delightful drink. Those who love a sweeter wine will gravitate towards Almost Zero Wonderful White. With delicate flavours of apple, citrus and tropical fruit, this Sauvignon Blanc-like wine drink offers a crisp and lingering after-taste. It’s the sweetest of the three wines and pairs beautifully with salad and sushi.

If it’s a more prominent wine-like taste you’re after, then the Ravishing Rosé or Radiant Red is for you. With flavours of Turkish delight, the Rosé is as close to the real thing as you can get. It’s divine when enjoyed on its own with lots of ice or paired with oriental dishes, desserts and pizza. As for the Radiant Red, like any red wine, this drink is best enjoyed at room temperature to get that real red wine flavour. This fruit-forward drink offers prominent notes of ripe mulberry and is great when paired with pasta, meat dishes and pizza.

Van Loveren Almost Zero

While I’m usually more of a white wine drinker, in this range the Radiant Red was my favourite of the three ‘varietals’. Of the three options in the range, I loved the more full-bodied mulberry flavours of this delightful drink and I can definitely see myself enjoying a bottle or three next time I’m looking for a more health conscious option at a social occasion.

Find Van Loveren Almost Zero around the country at retailers including Pick ‘n Pay, Makro, Spar, Checkers and Ultra Liquors. The recommended retail price is just R69.99. For more information visit the Van Loveren website.

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