The Westminster venue’s 2020 wine and drinks list include an extended range of alcohol-free alternatives alongside its range of fine wines, Champagnes, beers, ciders and spirits. The new additions are in response to the growing number of guests who, for whatever reason, choose not to drink.
The new wine list features two red and two white alcohol-free wines, as well as an alcohol-free sparkling wine, whilst the bar tariff offers an alcohol-free beer, cider and two gins. The alcohol-free wines sourced from Germany and Spain are made with grapes selected by winemakers for their ability to maintain the true taste of the grape variety after the alcohol has been removed. Advanced techniques are used to ensure that as much of the original character and flavours of the wine are kept intact.
The additions to the list are not intended to deter guests from partaking in an alcoholic drink, but simply to offer a more like-for-like substitute. For many years the alternatives to alcohol have been very limited, and, to be honest - boring. More recently there have been some more creative solutions offered, however, these still tend to be very sweet and unsuitable for drinking with food.
Church House has also witnessed a decline in alcohol consumption from younger guests in recent years. According to an article earlier this month from the Financial Times, only 48% of males aged 16 to 24 now drink at least once a week, down 16% since 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics. In almost a similar movement as ‘Meat Free Mondays’, mindful moderate drinking is increasingly being practised to boost wellness and make drinking a positive indulgence.
Commenting on the new additions to the list, Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, said, “None of us think twice about catering for every dietary requirement that is thrown at us, but have we really catered for the growing number of people who don’t drink? Whether it be for medical, religious, dry January, driving or simply not fancying a drink, more and more people are choosing to either not drink at all or limit the days that they consume alcohol. With alternatives widely available in supermarkets and most pubs, why not at events?”.