Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 | California, Chardonnay, Cocktails, Germany, Holidays, Non-Alcoholic, Riesling, Wines Under $20
The holidays can be difficult for someone like me who loves wine or a cocktail and wants to celebrate along with everyone else, but happens to be in a situation where she can’t drink. But being pregnant or having a health issue that prohibits you from drinking doesn’t mean you can’t raise a glass of cheer — you just have to pick something non-alcoholic.
A couple weeks ago, we were at The Christmas Tree Shops and I saw a bottle of non-alcoholic Chardonnay (which I have since lovingly nicknamed “Chardon-not”). I joked to Drew that I’d be drinking the St. Regis Alcohol-Removed Reserve on Thanksgiving. At a mere $3.99 a bottle he suggested I give it a try. So we left the store with two bottles — one to try that evening and one for Turkey Day, provided it wasn’t terrible.
St. Regis is produced by Inglenook. It is made in California and has an APV of less than 0.5%. To my surprise, it was actually decent! There were floral notes on the nose, as well as hints of apricot and apple. Upon tasting I detected mostly apple flavors as well as a bit of grape (which didn’t surprise me). Overall it reminded me of flat champagne. Drew thought it reminded him of some of the Australian whites he had tasted. Now, obviously you can’t compare a bottle of alcohol-free wine to a bottle of regular wine. To try it with the same expectations is ridiculous, honestly. If I weren’t pregnant I wouldn’t be drinking this, but for the price it ain’t bad and I will happily chill a bottle for myself for tomorrow. I’ve had worse “real” Chardonnay, and I find this to be an acceptable substitute.
Another problem I’ve had to solve is the pre-dinner cocktail. In our family, we always like to enjoy a drink while we nibble on cheese, crackers, and sausage. Under normal circumstances, my go-to drink is a gin and tonic. Luckily, this one is easy to solve. I simply mix together tonic water, a twist of lime, and some sweetened lime juice. I used to prefer Rose’s lime juice, but recently I discovered Master of Mixes lime juice. I find it to be less sweet. (As a bonus, if you’re plagued by leg cramps later in your pregnancy, this make a mighty fine remedy as the tonic water contains quinine, which helps alleviate the cramping.)
My other favorite cocktail is a whiskey sour. By chance, last night I discovered a drink that comes pretty darn close. I simply mixed Cuervo margarita mix with ginger ale (I think I did I one-to-one ratio). Again, it has no alcohol in it so it’s not as potent, but hey — when you only have so much to work with, you make the best of it. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry or two and enjoy.
Tomorrow we’ll be bringing a bottle of BEX Riesling to have with Thanksgiving dinner, so I am planning on tasting and spitting and seeing if it tastes any different to me now than it did when I tasted it a few months back.
To all my American readers, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to enjoy responsibly.
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