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Friday 14 July 2023

Meet Pepperjack's potentially game changing mid-strength shiraz

I have been hugely underwhelmed by virtually all of the no-alcohol and low-alcohol wines I have tried thus far. 

Despite some lofty claims from winemakers - and surprisingly high sales reports - the vast majority simply do not cut the mustard as wines. 

A few are OK, but the versions I have tried simply taste like wine that has been watered down. With prices at the same level as a decent bottle, my attitude has been "Why bother?"

Either drink just a glass or two of real wine, or opt for a water or fruit juice and save yourself some cash. 

The best version I have tried so far is from Barossa Valley winery Pepperjack, which is known for its gutsy and full flavoured red wines. 

Pepperjack has just launched a mid-strength shiraz that weighs in at 7% alcohol by volume - around half the alcohol content of its brethren. 

I'm told the release has been an 18-month development process for Richard Mattner and his winemaking team. 

They evaluated a number of different technologies and settled on a vacuum distillation system that "allowed them to capture more aromatics and flavour compounds from their de-alcoholised components". 

There are some fanciful claims about it being suitable for cellaring. Forget that. 

What we have is a decent red wine, lighter than its full-blooded shiraz brother, but well put together and a very good alternative for a designated driver or moderation-driven drinker. 

It finishes just a little short but has some dark fruit flavours, well judged oak and is food friendly. It actually tastes like real wine.    

It is just rolling out into stores now, RRP $25.

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