Non-alcoholic “champagne” made with vinegar arrives on the market

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Its name is Mazzalùa, it will be on sale from next Monday and it is a non-alcoholic “champagne” – let’s call it that – entirely made in Italy. The first in the world obtained not from dealcoholized wine, but from natural vinegar. It will be distributed by Domori, one of the high-end brands gathered in Riccardo Illy’s Polo del Gusto. Precisely the same group that distributes Barons de Rothschild in Italy, one of the most prestigious brands in Champagne, the real one.

The non-alcoholic bubbles of Mazzalùa, like the French ones, are drunk cold and pair well with oysters, savory pies, dishes with a high butter content and desserts. And like the French bottles they are a high-end product, which will be sold between 20 and 24 euros.

The production process

Mazzalùa is produced in Friuli and takes its name from the strip of land between the Italian and Slovenian hills which have given rise to great wines since ancient times. The partners of Poska, the company that created it, are four: two come from the Kristancic family, a historic winery in the Northeast, one is an expert in vinegars and the fourth is Rossana Bettini, food and wine journalist, expert in sensory analysis, entrepreneur as well as wife of Riccardo Illy: «We started producing in December, after 12 months of studies and experiments – says Bettini – for the recipe we took inspiration from the ancient Romans, who enjoyed a drink based on water and vinegar as a digestive and refresher. We use natural vinegars that are 25 or even 50 years old. Vinegars that are created to become great wines and that we add to the grape must.”

No preservatives, no spices or flavourings, just a final touch of carbon dioxide. The result is a sparkling drink, without alcohol, slightly sweet, which should be drunk very cold and which looks like a “champagne”: with its cage, mushroom cap and the traditional rounded champagne bottle.

Demand from foreign markets

The production cycle of Mazzalùa is immediate: «The aging work has already been done by the vinegars, which rest on a hill between the Gorizian and Slovenian hills – explains Bettini – with the grape must and natural vinegars that we have available, we can achieve good production quantities. In the United States and in the East there is already a great demand for these alcohol-free products, in some cases for cultural reasons, in others for religious reasons and finally for health choices.” The market that the producers expect for Mazzalùa, however, will also and above all be Italian: «The demand for healthier drinks, which give the same satisfaction as a good glass of wine but do not contain alcohol, perhaps to compensate for the revelry during the holidays without giving up the ritual of the aperitif”.

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