Polka launches a premium, low sugar, de-alc dry red wine

July 11, 2023
By Melissa Parker

Could this be the palatable de-alc red wine we are searching for?

Founders of de-alc brand Polka, Ben and Emma Mellows hope their mission to produce a pleasant tasting de-alc red wine has been realised.

It is without question red wine is the most challenging to re-create in the non-alc space.

Since 2021, Polka has expanded to meet the demands of de-alc products. The brand uses various extraction methods and processes unlike the traditional and non-alcoholic winemaking processes.

To make its new release red Polka uses SA cool climate Shiraz with a boost of natural extracts from Tasmanian Pepperberry, and vanilla rich French oak. The Mellows hope consumers agree result is a de-alc red with character and complexity not unlike its alcoholic counterpart.

After two years of arduous trial and error, Polka’s innovative approach has resulted in something Founders Ben and Emma Mellows are proud to share.

Ben Mellows says that without question is the most rightfully challenged of all the non-alc categories.

“For anyone who has drunk non-alc red wine, there’s every chance it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Our goal is always to give people something that satisfies on taste. Why else would you drink it?” says Mellows.

“Our one non-negotiable was that the wine must be a delicious drinking experience. Whilst we begin with quality SA Shiraz, when you remove the alcohol, you remove with it some of the traditional Shiraz characteristics. The common method to replace this flavour is to add sugar. We have managed to keep the sugar level below 1g. Instead, we use a number of different natural extracts and extraction methods to give us a fruity but dry de-alc red wine with notes of vanilla, oak, plum, pepper and cherry. Our de-alc red offers an experience similar to a Malbec, Merlot or Gamay.”

Mellows says people unable or electing not to drink should still be able to enjoy something more sophisticated than water or juice.

“Red wine complements food in such a wonderful way, so for us, it was important that we had something that would be able to sit next to a delicious wintery meal.”

In addition to the new de-alc red wine, Polka offer a vast range of de-alcoholic drinks including sparkling cuvée with wild harvested native Lilly Pilly, sparkling rosé made from the native botanical Davidson Plum, Blood Orange Italian aperitif, and a refreshing Pink Grapefruit Botanical spirit.

Polka Red is available to purchase online for RRP $24.95 at polkadrops.com.au or through various bottle shops and premium grocery stores as well as on premise venues across Australia.

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