With a slogan of “Alcohol Removed. Nothing Lost.” Ara Zero immediately earned itself a place in my heart. Their non-alc wines have been making waves globally for the past two decades and now Ara have finally committed to releasing a non-alc version of their Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Yum! Learn a little more about Ara Zero, their history and their winemaking process in the FAQ section below…
Where does the name “Ara” come from?
The story behind the Ara name is truly meaningful and pays tribute to the beautiful region in which the winery sits. “Ara” means “pathway” in the native Maori language that’s spoken by many New Zealand locals across various regions of the North and South Island. The winemakers refer to Marlborough as their Tūrangawaewae, or their “place of belonging” which shows such a beautiful harmony and respect between this brand, their New Zealand heritage and the natural Marlborough environment.
What is it about Marlborough that makes it the perfect winemaking region?
With a usually warm climate throughout the summer and autumn months, Marlborough sees a long growing season for its vineyards. The cooler nights, blown in by a regular sea breeze provide variation in temperature that truly lends itself to the production of distinctively delicious wines. The soil is rich in nutrients and is suited to growing wine fruits that are fresh, crisp and tasty as hell. Winemakers take these fruits and use their various recipes to craft full-bodied, well-balanced wines with unbridled flavours and aromas.
British wine writer Oz Clarke wrote that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is "arguably the best in the world”
What are the benefits of drinking alcohol-free wine?
Of the many benefits you get out of drinking wine sans the alcohol, here are just a few:
- A healthier lifestyle
- No long-term health risks
- Clarity and the option to drive home
- No embarrassing drunken mishaps
- No hangover
The Ara Zero Sauv Blanc is an especially great substitute for alcohol due to its low calorie content of only 16 calories per 125ml serving. Compared to its closest alcoholic alternative, that’s a 55% drop in calorie intake per serve. Crazy, right? I’m certainly not going to turn my nose up at that.
What does the “Zero” mean in Ara Zero?
The “Zero” in Ara Zero is referencing the fact that this particular wine contains zero (or very little) alcohol. For a wine to be legally classed as non-alcoholic it must not contain more than 0.5% ABV. But don’t sweat the small stuff – a 0.5% ABV level is less alcohol than some fruits and everyday products like sauces and soft drinks contain. Whenever you see an Ara wine from the Zero range, you can rest assured it will be completely safe for designated drivers, Dry July, Feb Fast and Ocsober participants, health conscious wine lovers and anyone else with an aversion to alcohol to drink.
Which Ara Zero wines does Sans Drinks stock?
We’ve been lucky enough to gain access to Ara Zero’s debut alcohol-free wine: their non-alcoholic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a tasty dry white and will satiate our Ara appetite for now, but the minute they introduce new wines to their alc-free collection I’ll be stocking up and sharing them with you all!
What does the Ara Zero Alcohol-Free Sauvignon Blanc taste like?
Ara take the utmost care to gently remove the alcohol from their original Sauv Blanc in order to truly retain the original flavours and aromas of the real thing. You’ll be greeted from the very first sip with delicious flavours of zesty grapefruit and other citrus fruits, juicy blackcurrant, a hint of pineapple and mouth-watering passionfruit that are followed by a crisp, dry and invigorating mouthfeel. It’s got all the pizzazz of a classic dry white, with none of the alcohol. That’s my kind of wine!
How is the alcohol removed to make Ara Zero wine?
Firstly, Ara winemakers craft their signature Sauv Blanc. They then incorporate an innovative “spinning cone” process (primarily used in the perfume industry) that involves separating the aroma of the wine from the alcohol. After the alcohol has been gently removed from the wine, the aroma is then re-added to ensure the end product looks, smells, feels and tastes just like the real deal, without the need for alcohol. It’s a highly advanced dealcoholisation process that allows Ara to create beautiful, true-to-form non-alcoholic wine.
What food does the Ara Zero Sauv Blanc pair best with?
Cheese. Yep, you can’t go wrong with a decadent cheese and dry white wine pairing. Seafood is also high up on my list. Fish tacos, prawns, clams and grilled white fish will taste significantly better with a Sauv Blanc on hand. It’s a great little ingredient to add a white wine flavour to a chicken Maryland or linguine dish too.
It’s also a great base for non-alcoholic cocktails (or mocktails) like a sassy Sangria or a knockout Punch. My mouth is watering just thinking
about all the different types of drinks you can mix with a few bottles of this versatile wine.
What’s next for the Ara Zero range?
I certainly hope that Ara are planning to create more additions to their Zero range to keep this gorgeous Malborough Sauv Blanc company, but I haven’t had word confirming this, as yet. I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground and the minute they release a new product I’ll have it stocked and ready for you to enjoy before you can say “kia ora”.