A Very Dry Wine: Cooking with Wine, but Not the Alcohol

A Very Dry Wine: Cooking with Wine, but Not the Alcohol

Do you cook with wine?

Do you ever wish you could add wine to your dish, but all you have is an expensive bottle of Bordeaux?

What if you are on a restricted diet or in recovery?

Would you like to cook with wine, but not the alcohol?

These are questions I wrestled with for several months, as I launched The Dry Gourmet, a non-alcoholic, dehydrated cooking wine powder.

[We're testing the passion for this product via a Kickstarter project.]

Wine is at the heart of continental European cuisine, but 34% of people in the United States do not drink alcohol or use it in cooking, for a range of religious and dietary reasons. 

Unfortunately for them, non-alcoholic wines on the market aren’t suitable substitutes because they may contain up to 5% alcohol, which is still too much for those in recovery and for some people who would like to remove alcohol from their diet for health or religious reasons.

This is where I saw an opportunity. I’m Benjamin Atkinson, and I’m the small-town entrepreneur behind The Dry Gourmet, a company that will begin producing a dehydrated wine powder — literally dry wine — this year.

I was inspired by my friend, a physician who battled drug addiction and subsequently found comfort in the ritual of cooking, when he shared his frustration at being unable to find a suitable wine substitute for cooking. 

After months of research, I located a team in Chilean wine country who had found a way to flash-dehydrate wine into powder. The low-temperature process preserved the complexity of the wine with absolutely none of the alcohol. I had found the solution I was looking for, and The Dry Gourmet was born.

Not just for teetotalers

While the appeal is immediate for the special segments of the population I mentioned above, Dry Gourmet wine essence will be just as appealing for home cooks across the country. How many times have you needed just a cup of wine for a recipe and opened an entire bottle, just to have it spoil on you if you didn’t finish it off within the week? Prepared cooking wine sold at most grocery stores is loaded with salt and preservatives and leaves much to be desired from a flavor standpoint. Dry Gourmet wine essence has a much longer shelf life of up to a year (without preservatives) and fully captures the robust flavor profile of red wine — it’s essence.

Self-funding a Startup

Before I can package this wine essence for sale in the states, I need to purchase and process a large amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. I am raising funds for my initial investment via a Kickstarter campaign that began January 10th. The funds will allow me to procure enough wine to produce 5000 packages (each equivalent to 1 liter of wine). I have begun working on a white wine essence, in hopes of quickly following on the success of the red wine.

Please let me know your thoughts about a “dry wine”. If you're interested please visit our website and signup for our email newsletter, or even pledge your support for this idea at our Kickstarter project.

Let's get cooking!