WHENEVER someone says “Dry January” or “no alcohol” to me, I cast the side eyes in their direction. Truth be told, however, I do take booze-free beverages from time time.
A bottle of Lautus Savvy white has been sitting in my fridge for a while, waiting for the right occasion. Previous experience with non-alcoholic wine has not been the best for me; mostly they’re nothing more than glorified grape juice, and just as sweet. Lautus Savvy comes with a new tag: de-alcoholised. This means the wine is made traditionally, with an additional phase right before bottling, when a special spinning technique brings the ABV down to a scant 0.5%.
There are oh so many reasons to not drink alcohol besides the concept of Dry January (if there ever was a month to drink, this is it… although we’re all too broke), from pregnancy to driving, from health to wanting to avoid the dreaded hangover. Appearing to have a glass of wine in your hand will also deter those annoying people who either insist you drink, or refuse to believe you won’t. Lautus Savvy has another massive advantage in that it’s also low in sugar and therefore kilojoules – 52 kJ per 100ml.
But what does it taste like? Actually jolly nice. There’s a hint of grape fruitiness lingering at the back but it’s a pretty amazing substitute for a nice chilled white on a hot day, with freshness and completely acceptable acidity.
“It has been a long wait for a South African de-alcoholised wine that is great to drink,” says Cape Wine Master Allan Mullins, wine selector for Woolies, and one of my favourite humans and fellow TV fan. “Woolworths is proud to be associated with Lautus Savvy White. The feedback has been amazing, particularly from drivers and pregnant women.”
I had mine with pizza but Lautus is an ideal companion to salads and lighter dishes featuring chicken or fish.
Here’s a recipe to try:
Yellowtail, black pepper, coarse salt, garlic, fresh ginger, home-made lemon-butter
Method: Rub the fish with black pepper, coarse salt, garlic and a little ginger. Place over a medium to low heat fire, skin side down. Baste occasionally with lemon butter. Grill until 90% done before turning it once to get smoke flavour. Remove from the fire and serve.
To serve: Accompany the fish with freshly baked cheese-and-onion bread, served with butter, whole green figs and goats cheese; and, a cold sweet potato salad with walnuts, coriander, mint and feta, dressed with a good quality olive oil. Yum!
Lautus Savvy White is made by Holder Vineyard & Wines and is available at selected Woolworths stores and online at www.drinklautus.com
It retails for R59.95/bottle.