Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dealcoholized Wine

I'm a big fan of dealcoholized wine. I love drinking the stuff and cooking with it. (Yeah, I know some of you out there just spat out your mouthful of Pepsi when you read that, because you think I'm going to go to hell for that, or at least I would be going to hell if we Mormons believed in hell. Fine, as long as they have linguica there. If there isn't any linguica, I'm not going.)

Anyway, Favorite Husband and I love the stuff. He's a former Catholic altar boy, so he's had his share of wine, and he says the dealcoholized stuff tastes just like wine, only without the "kick" of alcohol. Myself, I've never had real wine except in cooking, so I wouldn't know the difference. But it seems like a good way to get the complex flavors and health benefits of wine, without violating the Word of Wisdom.

We tried for years and years to get local merchants to carry dealcoholized wine, and for years and years we got the same reaction: "It's illegal for us to sell wine." So we asked at the state liquor store, figuring that if it really was classified as wine, the liquor store could get it for us. No dice. The liquor store told us that they couldn't carry it because it didn't have alcohol in it. So our favorite beverage was stuck somewhere in the maze of Utah's byzantine liquor laws. We would have to stock up every time we went down to California on vacation, bringing back over a dozen bottles to get us through the year until our next visit. (It is, by the way, legal to ship the stuff to Utah, but it was cheaper to bring it home than to pay inflated website prices and shipping.)

Recently, though, it must have found the "exit" sign, because all the local merchants started stocking it-- Albertson's, Smith's, Macey's. Even Kitchen Kneads started carrying it. The trouble was, though, they all carry only Sutter Fre. It's OK (I like the chardonnay), but it's not the best. The best brand of dealcoholized wine is Ariel, which has won awards in competition against alcoholized wines. We like their blanc and their white zinfandel (although the best dealcoholized white zinfandel we've had is Inglenook, which is VERY hard to find). Carl Jung Wines also makes some, but I didn't like them very much.

When I saw it at Kitchen Kneads, though, I got an idea. I asked them if they were going to carry Ariel since it's better than Sutter Fre, and I gave them Ariel's URL. A couple of days later I got a call and they said they were going to carry it! I couldn't believe it-- my favorite wine, here in town!

It won't be long now before it comes in, if it isn't in already. I can't wait until payday!