Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on January 17, 2024.
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Every January, we try and participate in what we call a dry-ish January. We don't fully cut out alcohol, but use the month to give ourselves a period of reset.
But during this time, we decided to take a look at more dealcoholized wine and other NA products to see if any are of the quality we expect from their alcohol-forward counterparts.
Naturally, this interest led us to a bottle of Fre Sparkling Brut, a faux bubbly that has been dealcoholized and sweetened to increase the body that the alcohol has removed.
So, was this one worth it? In a sea of disappointing NA wines, we have to admit, this may have been the best one we tried all month.
Fre Makes A Pretty Good NA Sparkling Wine
This non-alcoholic sparkling wine was pale lemon in color with medium(-) aromas of lemon, lime, pear, yellow apple, grapefruit, white flower, and elderflower.
On the palate it was medium dry with medium acidity and flavor intensity, medium(-) body, and a short finish. Flavors were a lot like the nose with prominent citrus fruit and floral character, and an additional note of pineapple for a tropical kick.
We have to admit that we would've liked a bit stronger acidity and finish on this one, but it had all the flavors we like in a good, albeit simple, sparkling that just so happens to be non-alcoholic.
NA Sparkling Wine Food Pairing – Green Curry Noodles with Mussels
We paired this wine with a lightly spicy green curry noodles with mussels which was, admittedly, more mussels than noodles. The sweetness of the wine jumped out with this pairing, particularly due to the spices and heat, which allowed some of the pear and floral notes to shine all the better.
That said, much like the wine on its own, we also would have preferred a higher acid to hold up the meal just a bit more.
Score: 4 / 5
We'd buy another bottle of this one, but only with the caveat of if we are participating in a period of abstention, like a dry January.
Overall, Fre Sparkling Brut has been the best NA wine have tried to date, and it is because the addition of sugar that is all-too-common in NA wine plays best with styles that can be known for sugar traditionally- which to us is namely sparkling, rose, and limited whites. Although this wine had elements that we wish were slightly better (acidity and finish), it hit all the right flavor notes and did not have any overwhelming grape juice character we also have come to expect from NA wine. So, all around, pretty good for a dealcholized wine, and we'd drink it again if (or rather, when) abstaining.
Fre has a contact address at Sutter Home Winery at 277 St. Helena Hwy (Hwy. 29) South in St. Helena, CA. We purchased this bottle locally and enjoyed it in 2024. As of publication, this bottle was available on Amazon.
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