McGuigan has launched an alcohol-free wine range

Australian Vintage-owned wine brand McGuigan has entered the low and no-alcohol category for the first time with a range of five 0% ABV expressions.

The range, which includes a shiraz, sparkling, rosé, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and will be available in Morrisons, Budgens and Londis from November, priced at £4.50 per bottle.

The wines have been in development for more than two years and employ technology unique to the brand’s Buronga Hill winery in New South Wales, which means McGuigan is the only Australian label capable of producing alcohol-free wines by the same method.

Neil McGuigan, McGuigan’s chief winemaker, said Australian Vintage is “the only wine company in Australia operating spinning cone technology, which has enabled us to play around with its capabilities in making low and no-alcohol wines.”

“For the last few years, we have been experimenting with our winemaking to deliver a no-alcohol wine, which has the most vinous and varietal character as possible. The biggest challenge is to make the flavour profile of the finished product as close to a wine at full-strength as possible.”

The shiraz has a “good length with sweet blackcurrants and a rounded finish,” according to the brand, while the the rosé is “more aromatic and vibrant with strawberries and citrus notes.”

The sparkling wine is also “refreshing bubbles and pairs well with smoked salmon dishes, while the chardonnay could be matched with chicken risotto or simply enjoyed on its own.”

A growing number of booze-free alternatives to wine, designed to pair with food, are entering the market. Nine Elms, a non-alcoholic red wine-like drink that entered the market in July, is sold at east London’s Michelin starred Clove Club and at the Standard Hotel. The owner of London bar Hide and conservation biologist, Paul Mathew, has also created a non-alcoholic apéritif brand, called Everleaf.

Last year, sales of beer and cider with an ABV between 0% and 1.2% grew in volume and value by more than 40%, according to Kantar data, but wines in that alcohol bracket haven’t had the same success. Value growth has stagnated, and volumes fell by 2.1% in the same period.

Last year, AV’s Julian Dyer told db that, “because of the threat from beers and spirits,” he said, “we’re having to raise our game.”

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