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Non-Alcoholic Wines

A considerable number of beverages are sold under this designation. Some contain grape juice, unfermented, but the majority are solutions of sugar, coloured and flavoured to imitate more or less closely one or other description of wine. They are not in general strictly non-alcoholic, nor of course are they "wine," so that the designation is somewhat of a misnomer. Apart from any question of adventitious fermentation, the alcohol they contain is due to the use of spirituous flavouring ingredients. Thus a "nonalcoholic ginger wine " may be flavoured with tincture of ginger, an "orange wine" with tincture of orange, and so on. Various "wine essences" are sold ready-made, needing only to be diluted with syrup in stated proportions to produce the required beverage. One such essence, for example, is as follows: Tincture of ginger 4 dr., tincture of capsicum 3 dr., tartaric acid 6 dr., caramel 2 oz., water to 4 oz. To be added to a syrup made by boiling 4 lb. of loaf sugar in 125 oz. of water. The finer essences are spirituous solutions of various esters such as Ĺ“nanthic ester, acetic ester, and nitrous ether, with flavourings of vanilla, almond, and other essential oils, tartaric or citric acids, and colourings.

So long as these " wines " contain not more than 2 per cent. of proof spirit, they are regarded by the revenue authorities in this country as non-alcoholic, and sellers of them are not required to be licensed for the sale, though the " wines " are dutiable as "table waters." They do, in fact, usually contain from 05 to 2 per cent. of proof spirit, though somewhat larger proportions are occasionalty met with. The proportion of sugar is generally high, ranging from about 15 up to 45 grams per 100 c.c., or even more. Salicylic acid is often found as a preservative in these "non-alcoholic ' preparations, as are also sulphurous acid, boric acid, and occasionally benzoates and fluorides. Artificial colouring matters are also often present; among those which have been identified are: Acid Brown Red, Acid Magenta, Fast Yellow Red, Orange, Quinoline Yellow, Resorcin Brown, Tartrazine, and Xylidene Scarlet.


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