No and low-alcohol wines are having something of a moment. There are more options than ever for those looking to eliminate or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption without completely abstaining from wine. Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut is one such wine. We received this wine as a tasting sample.
Giesen Wines was founded by three brothers who immigrated to New Zealand from Germany in the early 1980s. Theo and Alex purchased land south of Christchurch in Burnham and planted their first vineyards on bare land. They encouraged their younger brother, Marcel, to study winemaking. He did so, and joined the effort as winemaker for their first vintage in 1984.
Today, Giesen Wines calls Marlborough home. The winery continues to be family owned and has four vineyards in the region. They make several ranges of wine including: Giesen Estate, Giesen Uncharted, Giesen Organic, The August, and Feature Wines. Giesen recently added the No and Low Alcohol range.
Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut NV, New Zealand — pale yellow with generous bubbles and aromas of tart apples and raspberry jam. Flavors include tart apples, citrus and oat hay as the wine warms. The bubbles are mouth filling and the finish is clean and tart. SRP $19.99
Grapes are sourced from throughout New Zealand and the base wine is made in the classic way. Once made, the alcohol is removed from the wine using spinning cone technology. This technology allows the alcohol to be removed at very low temperatures, which preserves flavors and aromas. Once the alcohol has been removed the base wines are blended for flavor and body. Duncan Shouler, Giesen winemaker, talks about the process and technology in this video.
It was a deliberate strategy to make a sparkling wine with comparatively low residual sugar: 20g/L. It’s enough to provide a bit of roundness while also providing a clean finish without the sweetness of fruit juice. No alcohol and low residual sugar also translate to fewer calories per serving.
This wine definitely leans toward tart flavors and you will enjoy it if that’s the flavor profile you like. You won’t find the same flavor profile as many conventional sparkling wines, but you also won’t find fruit juice flavors I’ve noticed in some low or no-alcohol wines that make them taste more like fruit juice than wine. Also, consider using Giesen 0% Brut to make a mimosa or as an ingredient in a cocktail to reduce the alcohol level. If you have friends or family who are avoiding alcohol for whatever reason, it might be fun to give Giesen 0% Brut a try and see what they think. The Giesen 0% range also includes several still wines.
Thanks to GREGORY + VINE for organizing our tasting.