Wild Idol – Sublimely Sparkling and Alcohol-Free
Wild Idol produces vibrant and naturally alcohol-free sparkling wines in a bid to rewrite the story of premium low-alcohol beverages. Working with expert winemakers and superior quality grapes, while incorporating a pure production process, enables the creation of a truly authentic product. We spoke to CEO Paul Beavis to get his insight into the low-alcohol drinks industry and how Wild Idol is making its mark in the sector.
Launching last year, tell us about the inspiration for Wild Idol…
The no and low alcohol category has seen exponential growth in recent years, predominantly led by beers and spirits. Whilst non-alcoholic wines have been available for some time, no one had yet created a high-quality product in the premium alcohol-free sparkling category that discerning consumers actively wanted to drink.
Wild Idol was born out of a passion to create an authentic alcohol-free sparkling alternative to fine wine and champagne for those who want to drink less, without compromising on taste.
When did non-alcoholic wine start to gain popularity?
Whilst Dry January has historically been a popular month for people to cut back or abstain from alcohol, this has evolved into a year-round lifestyle choice in response to a growing movement towards healthier lifestyles and moderation seen over recent years. So there wasn’t a specific point in time where it suddenly took off, it’s been an ongoing conscious shift in consumer behaviour.
What factors have contributed to the rise of the alcohol-free drinks market over recent years?
Reducing alcohol intake is part of the wellness revolution that has been gaining huge traction in recent years. Drinking culture has changed and people are discovering new and alternative ways to have a good time, with less social stigma around abstaining from alcohol.
We’ve also seen a huge increase in healthier lifestyle choices and ethical and dietary preferences such as veganism. One of the benefits of Wild Idol is that it is gluten-free, suitable for vegans, and has only 24 calories per 100ml. It certainly ticks those wellness boxes as a healthy alternative to alcohol.
Do you ever see a time when non-alcoholic wine is more popular than traditional wine?
Often, people feel embarrassed by refraining from alcohol so we’re trying to offer customers the ability to have a great sparkling occasion with an amazing tasting brand to ensure they feel emotionally engaged. Rather than full occasions or specific times, it more comes down to personal circumstances – i.e. are they driving tonight? Are they taking a month-long break from alcohol? Perhaps have they decided to go fully alcohol-free and want the social side without the after-effects that drinking alcohol would give them. The aim here is to really give people choice and options without feeling like they are secluded from occasions they would usually love – driving inclusivity versus exclusivity.
Your 2020/2021 vintages are derived from Müller-Thurgau, Dornfelder and Merlot grape varietals. Why were these selected?
Wild Idol White is made of 100% Muller-Thurgau which has a clean, naturally fruit-forward flavour and an aromatic character. By using high-quality grapes with pure varietal flavours we can ensure the wine will also possess these characteristics.
Wild Idol Rosé is made of 85% Muller-Thurgau, 10% Dornfelder and 5% Merlot. As with the White, the Muller-Thurgau provides aromatic, pure fruit flavours and the other varieties add a richness and colour.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, tell us more about your commitment to sustainable winemaking practices.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, we donate 1% of our annual sales to environmental causes. In regards to other sustainable practices, we rely on the natural environment to produce Wild Idol – so we know we have a responsibility to help protect it. We are committed to making conscious, continued steps towards achieving sustainable, green practices in everything we do.
We use recyclable corks which are themselves upcycled from cork offcuts. Our bottles are made with cullet recycled glass, saving energy and reducing emissions. We use natural soy for printing on our eco-friendly boxes instead of traditional oil-based inks.
As Wild Idol continues to expand within the UK, alongside the premium alcohol-free sparkling wine industry as a whole, the future looks bright. Having recently partnered with Ocado and securing shelf space at retail giants including Harrods, Selfridges and Daylesford, you can expect to see more and more from this exciting venture in the coming years.