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Ariel non-alcoholic wine

Buford | Feb 11, 200604:51 PM

I don't drink alcohol, but I kept reading interesting recipes that involved braising things in wine, or combinations of wine and other things. I read a great deal on the subject, and though opinions were not unanimous, it seemed as though a significant amount of alcohol was likely to be left in the food. As a result I became interested in non-alcoholic wine. From Google anyway it seemed that the major brand of non-alcoholic (technically de-alcoholized) wine was Ariel, which is produced in several standard varieties. My local store had some bottles of their chardonnay, and I talked them into ordering some cabernet for me as well. They were both something like $8.99 a bottle.

My general opinion was not that great. The chardonnay, though not what you'd call complicated, isn't bad for an $8.99 bottle of wine. I mean it actually tastes like chardonnay. My attempt to cook with it, however, was quite bad. I mixed a fair amount of it with chicken broth, added dried herbs and pepper, and cooked chicken and vegetables in it until it was reduced pretty much away. The result had an intensely unpleasant spicy kick to it. Maybe I used way too much of the wine, but I wasn't enthusiastic about trying it again.

The cabernet was sort of the opposite story. For drinking it is barely adequate, maybe two steps beyond being expensive grape juice. It worked better for cooking. I mixed about three shots of it with chicken broth, added dried mushrooms and pepper, and cooked chicken and vegetables in it until it was about halfway reduced. The result was underflavored but still perfectly okay, enough so that I'm motivated to try it again with a higher dosage.

Link: http://www.arielvineyards.com/wines.html

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