So, we’re off to a BYOB party this evening, and of course that means taking the now-usual two bottles: a delicious, full-bodied bottle of red for Husband and a bottle of something far less interesting for me. Over the past few months I’ve tested a few of the different alcohol-free beers and wines on offer, and on the whole, you won’t be surprised to hear that the vast majority of them taste pretty appalling.
On Systembolaget’s website (the site for the state-run alcohol retail monopoly), you can search for all 25 of the different alcohol-free drinks you can buy here in Sweden.
Normally, I would choose wine over beer, but in alcohol-free terms that just isn’t really an option; you see, alcohol-free wine tastes… well… disgusting. The first bottle I bought is described on the website as having “a strong berry aroma”. Well, so far, so good and true enough. However, it goes on to describe the taste as being of “berry and jam, specifically blueberry, plums and vanilla”. Hmmm, yes. In other words, it tastes of juice. Such a disappointment after the smell, which was of a lovely full-bodied red.
Well, if an Australian wine was that bad, perhaps an American red would be different? Or not… Not only did it taste of juice, it even smelled like juice, despite the website stating that it tastes of “blueberry, lingonberry and grass” with an aroma of the same.
I made one final attempt, just before Christmas, to test a wine: Fre wine. All I can say is what a mistake that proved to be. It smelled of juice and tasted of… absolutely nothing…
So, I gave up with the wines and switched to alcohol-free beer. And you know what? Carlsberg Non-Alcoholic beer actually taste like beer. Long Live Carlsberg!