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Understanding and improving the mouthfeel and flavour profiles of no and low alcohol (NOLO) wine



This project is centred on a novel strategy: curbing alcohol production while preserving other essential wine attributes. The project aims to bridge the gap between traditional and NOLO wines by integrating cutting-edge synthetic biology with established winemaking practices to provide consumers with premium drinking experiences and elevate the market’s appreciation for NOLO wines.


In response to the increasing concerns related to health and social well-being, the market has witnessed a growing demand for no and low alcohol (NOLO) beverages. While the NOLO wine category has been expanding, it still faces certain flavour and mouthfeel disadvantages compared to traditional commercial wines due to the reduction or absence of alcohol. Presently, many available NOLO products are crafted by adjusting conventional winemaking techniques andemploying alcohol-extraction methods like reverse osmosis, spinning cone columns, vacuum distillation, membrane filtration, and heat treatments. These practices, while effective in reducing alcohol content, often compromise wine quality by diminishing flavour complexity, mouthfeel properties, and overall character. Consequently, there is a pressing need for innovative approaches that produce NOLO wine while retaining the mouthfeel and flavour profiles traditionally associated with high-quality wine.

Research approach

The keystone in wine production-sugar fermentation in yeast-depends on a delicate balance between two critical molecules, NAD+ and NADH, which play a pivotal role in cellular energy generation. Manipulating this balance can redirect yeast metabolism away from alcohol production and towards other compounds like glycerol. We intend to explore innovative fermentation techniques, including partial fermentation, arrested fermentation, and sequential inoculation with the traditional wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To comprehensively assess the outcomes of this novel approach, we commit to exploring and understanding the fundamental distinctions between traditional wine and NOLO wines. We will conduct sensory quality, rheology/tribology physical perception, and flavour composition comparisons between wines produced through our innovative approach, several commercial NOLO wines, and regular commercial wines. Expert sensory panels and trained analysts will perform descriptive sensory analyses to evaluate the sensory attributes of the three wine categories, encompassing aroma, taste, texture, and overall mouthfeel. Rheological properties, such as viscosity and flow behaviour, will be measured to understand the physical properties of the wines. Tribology tests will be conducted to assess the friction and lubrication during wine consumption, shedding light on the perceived mouthfeel. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) will be employed to analyse the flavour compounds present in the wines, including volatile and non-volatile components.

Sector benefits

By bridging the flavour and mouthfeel gap, we intend to contribute to the growth, consumer acceptance, and long-term prosperity of the wine industry. Additionally, our efforts resonate with evolving consumer preferences, health and wellness trends, social responsibility, and sustainability, marking a significant development for both the wine industry and the broader market.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.