Review: O.Vine Wine Essence Waters
What is O.Vine Wine Essence Water? It’s pretty simple, really. Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery takes its own grapes, infuses them with natural spring water, and bottles them up — sans alcohol. The idea is to give wine lovers a way to enjoy some of the flavors of wine — these are made with real wine grapes, not juice grapes — without added alcohol.
Four versions are available, red wine and white wine, each in a still or “gently sparkling” version. (New versions made from just cabernet sauvignon and just chardonnay have also just arrived on the market.) The reds include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, and petit verdot. The whites include sauvignon blanc, gewurztraminer, and chardonnay. They’re all very low in calories — just 15 to 20 per 8 oz. (22 to 30 calories per bottle.)
We tried all four. Thoughts follow.
O.Vine White Wine Essence Water – Gently Sparkling – Moderately sweet, it offers a clean white grape note, touched with hints of peaches and pineapple, followed by a hint of grapefruit on the finish. Imagine a LaCroix with a bit less fizz and a bit more fruit and you’re on the right track. Easy to sip on and surprisingly enjoyable. A-
O.Vine White Wine Essence Water – Still – Not nearly as much fun as the sparkling version, the flatness making the expression come across like watered-down wine. The sweetness feels dulled, as does the fruit, which is harder to pick out amidst a vague floral element. B
O.Vine Red Wine Essence Water – Gently Sparkling – Somewhat drier than the white wine essence waters, with a clear red fruit and cola note. This fades toward a note of lightly tannic red apple skin on the back end; if you’ve ever eaten a cabernet grape off the vine, you’ll get a hint of that flavor here. The finish is slightly doughy, reminding me of raisin bread. B
O.Vine Red Wine Essence Water – Still – The fizzilessness of the red wine version is less impactful here than on the white wine, but it still plays second fiddle to the sparkling version. The mild sweetness and mixed berry character give this bottling a kind of melted cough drop note, leading to a slightly funkier finish. B-