Barrels and Drums
Barrels and Drums
Swedish alcohol free Merlot to be enjoyed with beef and pork
Sweden, Barrels and Drums, Merlot, NV

Anyway, that is what the fun label states, with a dressed up and marching elephant promoting the wine. The wine is marketed by Enjoy Wine & Spirits, based in Stockholm. It forms part of the Di Luca & Di Luca AB group, as its wine and spirits arm. Fernando di Luca left Italy in the 1960’s and started the family business selling Italian food in the Swedish market and is now in its second generation.

It has expanded since into the other Scandinavian countries and has won numerous awards around its brands, produce and as a business. The imported portfolio represents wines from around the world, with brands such as Calvet, Fontanafredds and Gnarly Head. There are also other spirits, beers and non-alcoholic drinks. The alcohol free wine range has this merlot, a chardonnay and a sparkling chardonnay and the advertising is about drinking it as a good companion with food.

£ 6.00
Best Served:
16-18 °C
0 %
Review Date:
16 . 05 . 2019
Wine specifics
Ready to drink. Fruity, dry, hints of herbs. Serving meats, grills, roasts, salads. Or, to drink it avoiding the alcohol, whatever the reason. Obtained in the Netherlands, may not be available in the UK, but there are other alcohol-free (or low-alcohol) brands. For this wine it is registered/labeled as being Swedish. Sweden is quite heavy regulated in its alcoholic drinks. Back label states ‘Best Before’ date. Screwtop.
To make alcohol-free wine there is no easy process, as just fruit juice is not what is aimed for. On a commercial basis it is either through distillation or through filtration. Both are very tightly controlled processes, where it is key to keep the characteristics of a wine as close to its origins as possible. Simply explained, the first is removing the alcohol by minimal heating. The second is by filtering water and alcohol out till it becomes a concentrate and then add water again. The alcohol could be still something like 0.5% and be called free. What it misses is the usual effects of fermentation of wines, where characters are added/changed, often improvements and ones one would expect from alcoholic wine. Then there is possibly an issue with calling it wine, as individual regulations often set the benchmark for alcoholic percentages to be able to link it with ‘wine’.
Review Date:
16 . 05 . 2019