Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on January 17, 2024.
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As part of our quest to try dealcoholized wine during our dry-ish January, we stumbled upon Noughty nonalcoholic Syrah at a local bottle shop that came highly recommended.
Although this wine was not ideal for our tastes, we were given a trick to add bitters into this one to add more barrel-like notes that are often lost in NA wine, and we have to admit that it helped this bottle significantly.
NA Syrah Has an Interesting Flavor Profile
This non-alcoholic Syrah from Noughty was medium ruby in color with medium aromas of red cherry, tart cranberry, raspberry, cassis, cola, fig, pomegranate, and an overall grape-like aroma that can only be described as juicy.
On the palate it was dry (we'd consider off-dry, too), with medium(+) acidity and flavor intensity plus medium(-) tannin, body, and finish. We had flavors of red cherry, cranberry, cassis, concord grape juice, cola, blueberry, and raspberry.
Admittedly, the primary fruit nature of this bottle made it a bit simplistic, as we often expect a bit more complexity from Syrah bottles outright. It makes sense; however, that producers may elect for minimal secondary winemaking choices (like oak) for NA bottles, but the overall grape juice flavor that came out with this one was rather off-putting no matter how we look at it.
To compensate, we added a couple drops of Angostura bitters to this one as the woody notes of the bitters really did help elevate the flavor profile of this bottle and even masked some of the unsettling grape notes ever-so-slightly (but not completely). While this was a notable improvement, it is worth noting that a mL or two of alcoholic bitters can add a modest amount of alcohol back into the wine too (<1%).
NA Syrah Food Pairing – Shrimp & Sausage Congee
We paired this wine with a semi-spicy shrimp and sausage congee as we thought it would be a decent pairing with the overall flavors that are traditionally expected out of Syrah (noting that we, of course, did not get many of those in this NA bottle). That said, the pairing brought out more of the blueberry and cola notes in the wine, especially after adding bitters.
Score: 2 / 5
We're okay on this one.
Overall, while we would admit that this is a decently made dealcoholized wine, we really can't get over the prominent grape juice notes in the bottle that were still present, albeit minorly, even after adding bitters. As such, it really feels like non-alcoholic red wine still has a long way to go to be comparable to its traditionally produced counterparts.
We purchased this bottle of Noughty NA wine locally and enjoyed it in 2024. As of publishing, it was available on Amazon.
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