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A Whole New Meaning to “Dry” Riesling

Usually when you hear talk about unusual spirits in Salem MA your mind goes to that of the paranormal. This summer it won’t be ghosts that lead the conversation in strange spirits, but rather the new no-proof alcohol trend sweeping across stores!

 

There were no looks of bewilderment when I walked into The Cheese Shop of Salem and asked their friendly and gracious staff about their non-alcoholic spirits. Susan E. Ulbrich the Wine Director at The Cheese Shop of Salem hospitably walked me over to their display of non-alcoholic options with a well stocked brand that she pointed out by the name of EINS-ZWEI-ZERO. The blue cans and bottles of non-alcoholic sparkling Riesling looked to the untrained eye like an everyday bottle or can of wine. After tasting the wine I was convinced that if asked to try the beverage blindfolded I would not be able to tell the difference between the non-alcoholic option and an alternative alcoholic choice. 

Taken by Destination Salem staff at the Cheese Shop of Salem

Ulbrich helped to guide me through the process of better understanding the flavor of wine that I was purchasing before I drank it. She gave me a great tip to help bulk up my wine knowledge telling me that “If you select a wine with lower sugar content you will usually end up with a higher percentage of alcohol in the beverage and a ‘drier’ taste to the wine”. Ulbrich went on to explain that this has to do with the fermentation process, and that the longer you let a wine ferment the less sugar it will have, and the less sweet it will taste. With this new found knowledge that Susan had passed on to me I felt ready to test my senses with the EINS-ZWEI-ZERO canned alcohol-free wine. I grabbed a can, some cashews, blue sour gummy fish, and some blackberry jam and hit the road to have an afternoon picnic with my new beverage.

Taken by Destination Salem staff at the Cheese Shop of Salem

I stopped into a small public garden behind the Custom House off of Derby street and set up my picnic. I cracked open the cold blue can that I had grabbed from The Cheese Shop of Salem and was surprised after my first few sips. Bubbly and light, it was hard to believe that I was not drinking a Sparkling Riesling. The best part about this option was that there was no inebriated feeling that came along with my enjoyment. I was able to sip on all of the positives of a Riesling during my noon lunch break from work, but didn’t have to worry about feeling off or foggy afterwards! 

Taken by Destination Salem staff at Pamplemousse

My journey into the non-alcoholic spirits world didn’t stop there! Feeling confident in my ability to suss out a good alcohol free beverage I headed over to Pamplemousse centrally located on Essex Street. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the front display stand after first walking through the door was filled with non-alcoholic options! They had non-alcoholic gin, beer, and rosé that stuck out most to me from their offerings. After scanning for a few minutes Nathan the Manger over at Pamplemousse came over and began to help me sort through the selection that they had. He mentioned that they sold the very popular Seedlip brand which I recognized from the design on the bottle. I asked him to recommend a way to drink the non-alcoholic hard liquor options. He pointed out the New London Light option inspired by gin. The NLL brand is known for their Salcombe distilled gin, and their non-alcoholic option takes inspiration from the same distilling process using similar botanicals. Nathan recommended making a highball with the NLL in the place of what would usually be vodka or gin, and to top it off with soda water.

Taken by Destination Salem staff at Pamplemousse

The world of non-alcoholic spirits or no-proof spirits seems to be reaching all new heights with a diverse range of offerings and brands. These beverages give a whole new meaning to a summer lunch break, or weekday drink with friends. Do you consider yourself a trends setter? Adventurer? Trailblazer? If so, this new trend and potential lifestyle is calling your name. With great staff at locations like The Cheese Shop of Salem, and Pamplemousse you are sure to find the right fit of no-proof spirit to make your ideal summer beverage. Will my adventures into the no-proof spirit world continue? Most definitely! Having the tools from great teachers such as Susan and Nathan I feel ready to take on my next adventure… Mocktails!

Taken by Destination Salem staff at Pamplemousse

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