Non-alcoholic wine has spurred on far more eye-rolls than glass-clinks. That’s because, more often than not, it’s terrible. Sweet if not cloying, the opposite of refreshing and utterly without nuance. And yet, for so long it’s seemed like an area of imbibing that longed for a make-over. Why can’t we drink a wine-adjacent product that actually tastes good? That you actually… want to drink?
Winemaker Roman Roth thought this, too. Ever the can-do innovator, he decided to turn his thoughts into action: Spring in a Bottle.
It’s a bright, zippy combination of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Dornfelder and the deeply pigmented St. Laurent, organically grown in Roth’s native Germany, and the grapes get the same kind of care as they would if it were anything the winemaker puts his name on. Hand-harvested and whole-cluster pressed, the trick is the juice is fermented into an actual wine, that gets a little time sitting on its lees (the used up yeast that falls away after its done consuming the sugar from the grapes–remember, alcoholic fermentation is yeast munching on sugar and resulting in alcohol), giving the wine an extra layer of texture. It’s then carefully de-alcoholized and given a frizzante-like spike with a little dose of carbonation. The result is gently, gorgeously fruity with notes of white peach and juicy pear, a bit of refreshing spriztiness, but the only buzz you’ll get is from how refreshing and wonderfully balanced its components are.
Stop into Wölffer’s tasting room at 139 Sagg Road in Sagaponack or at Sag Harbor Beverage, 89 Division Street, Sag Harbor.