Review: Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon, a Dealcoholized Red Wine

ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon is a dealcoholized red wine that was created to give people the taste experience of a dry, full-bodied cabernet without the alcohol. This makes it an interesting drink option for those who are looking to enjoy red wines but don’t want to ingest alcohol or those who have been advised by their doctor not to consume alcohol. In this review, I’ll talk about what this wine tastes like and how it’s different from other non-alcoholic wines on the market!

glass of non alcoholic red wine with a corkscrew

If you like red wine, you know that it is a part of the whole food tasting experience. Whether you are cooking with it or drinking it with food, it can compliment the flavors in the foods you pair with it. That is one reason it can be difficult to stop drinking red wine when faced with an allergy, health directive, or simply want to cut back on the extra calories for a while.

Drinking enough plain water each day is hard enough, but only drinking water with dinner after you’ve established the habit of drinking red wine can seem daunting. 

Are you looking for a non-alcoholic red wine substitute?

Some winemakers have attempted to step in and fill the gap by providing a non-alcoholic version, but do they taste the same (or even good)?

The following review will explain all you need to know about Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon: what others are saying about it, how it tastes, who it might be for, and how best to enjoy it.

About ARIEL Non Alcoholic Wine

ARIEL Vineyards is owned by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon is made with sustainably farmed grapes from California’s Central Coast. They have been producing dealcoholized wine since 1985, which is quite a long time compared to other producers in the non-alcoholic wine market.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry red wine that has origins in the Bordeaux region of France. It’s made from cabernet sauvignon grape and often blended with cabernet franc and merlot, giving it its characteristic flavor profile of blackberry, currant, tobacco, and cedar.

This is only a very basic definition, given an ever-growing number of wine maker interpretations on this style of wine and the influence of the terroir where it is grown.

Non-Alcoholic and Dealcoholized Wine: What does it all mean?

The term “non-alcoholic” is mostly defined by a drink having less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. When researching this concept, I was fascinated to find that even a ripe banana can contain a small amount of alcohol. So, it cannot be assumed that a product has had alcohol added to it to give it alcohol content, but can be a byproduct of the process of making it or the natural ingredients in the product.

ARIEL Cabernet is dealcoholized, which means that it was made from real wine, but the alcohol has been removed. There are different ways of achieving this, but with ARIEL, reverse osmosis has been used to remove the alcohol.

Starting with a traditionally made Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is then pumped into a reverse osmosis machine. This machine has cylinders with membranes that separate the wine concentrate from the alcohol. Once the alcohol has been removed, water is added to the concentrate to achieve the final product.

The goal is that by using actual cabernet sauvignon and traditional winemaking techniques, one can retain the same flavors of the wine but avoid negative affects of alcohol.

Is it worth it?

Potential Health Benefits of Non-Alcoholic Wine

Alcohol has been shown to have negative effects on the body. Per calorie, alcohol is metabolized differently than sugars or starches, and can affect your blood sugar levels in different ways.

Some studies show that drinking red wine may offer beneficial cardiovascular benefits because of its antioxidant properties (particularly resveratrol), while other research contradicts this.

However, this study found dealcoholized wine as an effect way to reduce blood pressure, which is evidence that more research should be conducted in the health benefits of consuming non-alcoholic wine aside from simply avoiding alcohol.

In addition to those surprising benefits, there is a significant difference between the calories in ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon and alcoholic cabernet style wines: around 3-4x less! One downside is that one glass contains around 10g of sugar, so low sugar dieters beware. 

Click here to jump to more detailed nutrition and ingredient information.

The Taste of ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon

ARIEL is described as oak aged with “aromas of black currants, cherry, blueberries and chocolate, with soft tannins and a dry finish.”

This would definitely fit the description of a traditional cabernet sauvignon, but what does it really taste like?

Taste can be pretty subjective, especially when discussing wine. Instead of simply sharing one opinion on the taste of ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon, I have researched several reviews sources and over 200 written reviews to share what more people are saying about it. Here are the results:

-23% mentioned grape juice as the predominant flavor

-15% said it tasted watered down or thin

-11% said it was sweet

Overall, 41% of the reviewers thought ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon tasted great, and an additional 16% either thought it tasted like wine, satisfied cravings or was drinkable.

However, 34% of tasters considered ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon undrinkable, and I would not disagree. As evidenced by these reviews, tasters either really liked or really did not like this non-alcoholic red wine.

3 Ways to Serve ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Pair it with a spicy BBQ sauce or wood fired pizza.
  • Use it in a non-alcoholic cocktail that calls for red wine, like a virgin sangria, or non-alcoholic mulled wine.
  • Try it chilled.

Recipe Ideas for using ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon in Cooking

If you aren’t looking for a non-alcoholic wine to drink, but would rather cook with non-alcoholic red wine, ARIEL Cab could be a good option. Try it in beef bourguignon or this red wine spaghetti.

Conclusion

The reviews are fairly divided due to taste preference. If you’re looking for a flavor substitute for dry red wine, ARIEL Cabernet will likely disappoint.

However, that does not necessary mean you won’t like the flavor – just refer to the tasting notes from hundreds of users above and decide for yourself. Also, the cost barrier to try ARIEL Cab is fairly low, with the best prices being found at local retailers.

If you love wine and are looking for a non-alcoholic substitute, start by checking out the full list of articles reviewing non-alcoholic wine.

Again, ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon can easily work well in mocktails and even cooking without alcohol.

Where to Buy ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to check the price for ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon on Amazon.

It can also be found locally at stores like Safeway, Bevmo, TotalWine, and online retailers like BetterRhodes.

Product Details:

Ingredients: Purified Water, Dealcoholized Wine, Grape Juice Concentrate, Natural Fruit Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, and Potassium Metabisulfite to Protect Natural Flavor and Color.

Nutrition: Serving Size 8oz | 52 Calories; Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 12g; Sugar 10g; Sodium 17g; Protein 0g

Storage: Refrigerate after opening.

*Nutrition info found on product or producer website at time of publishing and might be subject to change.