There's a new non-alcoholic wine on the market with Texas ties: Called Starla Wines, it's a line of wine for those who cannot or choose not to drink wine with alcohol.
The line comprises a trio of varietals — sauvignon blanc, red blend, and sparkling rosé — and is available online at StarlaWines.com for $28 per bottle or three for $84, including shipping.
The alcohol-free market — which even has its own acronym, AF — is growing and anticipated to continue to grow by nearly 6 percent in the next five years, lest you think wine and cocktails without alcohol are not a thing.
According to a release, Starla's wines use grapes from California, and are made in California. There's no hangover, and they're low carb, low sugar, and low calorie: The red blend and sparkling rosé have five calories and zero carbs per 5-ounce serving.
Let's get to the sexy wine descriptions:
- Sauvignon blanc: light, crisp notes of wild honeysuckle, rosemary, pear, and lemon balm finished with a white peach blossom parfum. Pairs with pork, green lentils, and video calls.
- Red blend: bold and sumptuous aromatics of sweet dark cherry, blackberry, bergamot, and black pepper, with a bouquet of French lavender. Pairs with dark chocolate, tapas, and 6 am workouts.
- Sparkling rosé: dry and bright botanicals of strawberry blossom, citrus, lychee, and mineral, and sweet gardenia on the nose. Pairs with creamy risotto, french fries, and 2 am cravings.
Dallas-based founder and CEO Dawn Maire, who was previously president at Rockfish and Poo-Pouri, says she created the line because she saw great opportunity in the AF world to make something that she herself would like to drink.
"The journey to create the first premium alcohol-removed wine started when I began replacing my beloved wine with better-for-me choices," she says. "I was surprised and disappointed with the lackluster set of options on the market."
"I saw the opportunity to satisfy the demands of the growing set of sober-curious and alcohol-abstaining consumers with an authentic, premium selection of wine," she says.
Starla's co-founder is Jamie Coulter, co-owner of La Vie Style House in Dallas.
To get the alcohol out, they partnered with de-alcoholizing technology group BevZero. The process begins with fermented wine from California grapes, then uses vacuum distillation technology to vaporize and remove the alcohol from the wine, leaving behind the original flavors and aroma.
After the alcohol is removed, less than half of 1 percent remains — the same amount of alcohol as in kombucha.
BevZero CEO Debbie Novograd says they've seen a "significant uptick in consumers opting for healthier consumption choices, especially in women, who make up 54 percent of wine buyers."
A spokesperson says the wine is currently sold exclusively on Starlawines.com, but will likely become available at some retailers in the fall.