The week in pictures

db caught up with the inimitable Neil McGuigan in London this week, who is days away from stepping down from his role as chief executive of Australian Vintage. Over lunch at Fenchurch restaurant inside Sky Garden, McGuigan poured guests three of his new five-strong zero alcohol range, McGuigan Zero, which is due to go on sale at Morrisons next month priced at around £4.50 per bottle.

Formed of a rosé, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and a sparkler, McGuigan developed the range in response to a growing consumer demand for zero alcohol beers, wines and spirits. He revealed that in order to get the Chardonnay recipe right he had to create a base wine that was out of kilter. “We had to ramp up the oak, malo and lees contact in the wine. It was totally out of balance as a wine with alcohol but fell back into balance when we stripped the alcohol out with a spinning cone column,” McGuigan said.

“To make decent zero alcohol wines you have to add everything in your backpack. The wines have higher than normal residual sugar levels as they don’t work as dry wines. I’m particularly happy with the rosé as it has a pretty pale pink colour and notes of Turkish delight and rose water – it slips down so easily. If alcohol free wines are going to work, they’re going to work with something like this. We stopped making our lower-alcohol 5.5% wines a few years ago because people want all or nothing these days,” he added.

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