Where can one buy non-alcoholic wines? - Printable Version

+- WineBoard (
+--- Forum: Wine & Health (
+--- Thread: Where can one buy non-alcoholic wines? (/thread-3204.html)

- rasmus - 06-02-1999

A friend who is a member of a church recently asked me where they can buy non-alcoholic communion wines (<0.5% alc) in Pittsburgh, or order from elsewhere. Apparently, the local shops carry none. Thankful for your help!

- Thomas - 06-02-1999

Why don't they just buy grape juice?

I will not even go into the debate this post raises in my mind...

- rasmus - 06-02-1999

Well, that's exactly what I proposed, but they wanted to come closer "to the real thing". One always wants to tell such religious people to read their Bible more carefully; wine is mentioned there no less than 441 times and, unnecessary to say, mostly to its advantage!

- Thomas - 06-02-1999

Not only is wine mentioned in the Bible, it has been a religious instrument of ritual and metaphor since the birth of civilization.

If your friend's religion is content with being only "near the real thing" I would find dubious any claim they make on heaven.

- rasmus - 06-02-1999

Enough said about spiritual matters! This is a wine site after all. I agree on the heaven part, though... :-)

I browsed the net and found Ariel Vineyards in Napa (, who specialize in non-alcoholic wines. Nice site!
I believe non-alcoholic wines should at least be part of one's common knowledge (even for a "real wine" lover), just as it's good to be aware of the existence of mineral water. Everybody doesn't have a private chauffeur, right?

- Thomas - 06-02-1999

Let me say this another way: the definition of the word wine (read table wine) includes natural grape fermentation into a product of about 8 to 15 percent alcohol; anything else ain't wine, so let 'em drink grape juice. Anyway, those so-called non-alcoholic wines taste like grape juice to me, and they cost more.

- n144mann - 06-02-1999

Ahhh foodie, where is that tiger of a poster I am used to? <grin> I know what you mean tho, it is a subject that forever gets me in an uproar also, and it is touchy to say the least. I get lectured on the sins of drinking all the time. I am a Christian and a wine lover. But for many in the church, that is a contradiction in terms. I usually use the arguement that drinking wine can not possibly be a sin, Christ himself did it. Drunkeness however, is spoken against quite strongly. That is where the problem arises in my opinion. OH well, if it makes them feel better, let them drink grape juice. It is all symbolic anyway(the wine I mean). Enough said, just could not let this go by without adding my cent and a half worth.

[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 06-03-99).]

- Bucko - 06-03-1999

<<I usually use the arguement that drinking wine can not possibly be a sin, Christ himself did it. Drunkeness however, is spoken against quite strongly. That is where the problem arises in my opinion.>>

So you say that you are having a problem with drunkeness? }:>


FWIW, I was raised a Lutheran - we had real wine at communion. There was no such thing as grape juice in biblical times. Natural occuring yeasts started the fermentation process. It is, and always will be a point of contention among religions however.

- n144mann - 06-04-1999

Me, have a problem with drunkeness??? Only when I drink too much. :-}

Well I was raised, and am still a part of the Baptist never makes it through the point was, and I know you know this you rat, is that drunkeness in the Bible is a sin, not the simple enjoyment of a glass of wine with your dinner, IMO.

- Thomas - 06-04-1999

Thanks Bucko, I did not want to be the one to point out that grape juice in Biblical times would have turned to wine within hours. Sometimes I sound like a pedant, I wanted that distinction to be shared this time.

Having been raised a Catholic, where we got a wafer and the priest got both wine and wafer for communion, I was pleasantly surprised while in the Air Force when I attended a Lutheran service and was handed a small cup of wine and a small piece of bread during the communion portion of the service. Of course, the wine was barely drinkable; obviously, Christian religions have few wine "experts" on the selection committee.

Nancy, even the celebratory effect of a lot of wine was accepted at times -- re: marriage feast at Cana when the best was saved for last. (Did you know the name of my company was The Cana Creation, and the winery was called Cana Vineyards?)

- n144mann - 06-04-1999

Okay, foodie, I will take your bait. Foodie, I am not saying that wine was not or should not be used for celebration, and I am very familiar with the Cana story. The celebratory affects as you put them were indeed accepted by lots of the masses, but so was idolatry and adultery. (And I am not talking about an occasional wine over-indulgence, but a more consistant/chronic act of over-indulgence) Just because it is accepted, it didn't/doesn't make it right. Didn't you mother teach you that? I stand by my original opinion.

As for the differences in religious denominations, I have attended a lot of different services, including Catholic,Lutheran, Mennonite (can't remember how it is spelled), and lots of others such as Reformed, presbyterian, etc. I have always found each one interesting and enlightening in one way or another. Contrary to how harsh my opinion may seem, I am not a pin headed, self-righteous, right-wing, radical. These are MY opinions, no more no less. Accept or reject as you will.

And no,Foodie, I didn't know what your winery had been called. The Cana Creation, I like it!

[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 06-04-99).]

- Thomas - 06-04-1999

Nancy, you got that right -- consistent overindulgence is a problem, but many religions simply disdain alcohol use at any level, as you know, which equates use with abuse.

If kids were brought up to understand moderation with alcohol, the way we Italian-Americans were taught in Brooklyn, underage overindulgence would be less of a problem in the USA. My mother certainly did teach me about overindulgence, with a quick boot on the behind.

- Jerry D Mead - 06-11-1999

Back to the question at hand...there are other brands...but Ariel tends to be as good as there is. I generally prefer it to Sutter Home's product called Fre.

The difference between dealcoholized wine and grape juice, of course, is that the product has undergone fermentation...with the alcohol removed after the fact.

They do not taste very good, or very much like wine, but a reformed alcoholic friend tells me they're better than nothing...though he generally prefers no-alcohol brews to the wines.

The best no-alcohol wine products I've tasted are some of Ariel's's like the effervescence replaces some of the mouthfeel missing because of the lack of alcohol...though I've never heard of bubbly being used for the purpose inquired about...they do call it "celebrating communion," though, don't they? (Us agnostics aren't up on this stuff.)

Goin' to hell in a wine cask...