We have plenty of good alcohol-free beers, both from Irish craft brewers and from the bigger brands, and some interesting alcohol-free “spirits” too. Until now, however, most alcohol-free wines have been less impressive. Many contain large amounts of sugar and other additives. Most taste very confected. This could all change with the arrival of Hollow Leg.
Hollow Leg is the brainchild of Ronan Farrell and Richie Byrne of the drinks business WineLab, the restaurateur Jamie O’Toole and the Spanish winemaker Pablo Martinez. WineLab are among the most innovative people in the Irish drinks trade, distributing wine and cocktails on tap, canned wines and spritzers, bag-in-box, and CBD drinks.
"The trick is not to try to re-create the exact character of wine. There are things you just can’t have without the alcohol, but you can have something that is refreshing and enjoyable."
Farrell came across Martinez a few years ago. “He’d been working for a year on alcohol-free wines,” Farrell says. “We talked, and he came to me with rough cuts. I tasted them and thought they were amazing. For a commercial palate they needed a little polishing. He came from winemakers’ perspective, and we knew what consumers wanted.
The Irish Times