O.Vine is a new non-alcoholic wine-flavored water
Water has come a long way from its humble days as simple H20 to its current status where people want their water flavored with essences or packed with vitamins or caffeinated or… now possibly… even vinified.
The Israeli startup Water Wine is launching a new line of completely alcohol-free products this month at the Fancy Food Show in New York City called O.Vine. They're billing it as “the first spring water infusion with the spirit of wine.” Though the name alone is enough to leave you doing a double-take, O.Vine is relatively straightforward: The company spikes its waters with a touch of extract produced from wine grapes with their own proprietary technology. The results are four different beverages a “Red” (made from cabernet, merlot, syrah, and petit verdot grapes) and a “White” (made from riesling and gewürztraminer) which both come in either still or sparkling varieties.
As any good wino will tell you, grapes only truly achieve their destiny as “wine grapes” after fermentation. But Wine Water CEO and Founder Anat Levi explained that, in the Red variety at least, fermentation is actually part of the process, despite the fact that these waters contain no alcohol. “We create an infusion from skin and seeds after fermentation in the red beverage, while in the white, we get the skins and the seeds before fermentation,” Levi told us.
In announcing the launch, Levi explained that adding a touch of wine to water is nowhere near as easy as it might seem. You can’t just slosh around some water in an empty wine bottle. “Developing O.Vine was extremely challenging. Based on our winemaking expertise, we designed proprietary technology and specialized techniques,” she stated. “These methods prevent oxidation – the main obstacle to keeping the beverage fresh and shelf stable – without alcohol and without preservatives.”
Levi also spoke to what she believes are the multiple benefits of, cough, turning water into wine. “O.Vine imparts the wine sensation and awakens the memory of drinking wine,” she added. “The beverage delivers the health benefits of antioxidants – without the alcohol. Moreover, by upcycling the excess wine ingredients, the product is environmentally friendly.”
That’s all well and good, but one huge lingering questions remains: What does Wine Water’s O.Vine taste like? The O.Vine rep described the Red version as having a “fresh” aroma “of red berries and hint of floral essence” and a flavor with “a crisp, gentle sweetness.” Meanwhile, the White's aroma is “tropical notes of passion fruit or guava,” with a flavor that is “crisp, refreshing and follows through with the tropical notes and a zest of citrus.”
Granted, none of this is as good as the day where wine will start flowing out of our kitchen sink faucet, but it certainly sounds like a step in the right direction.