A Sober Way to Cook With Wine?

By Anna David 01/13/12

A new company called DryGourmet wants to help make cooking with wine risk-free for sober alcoholics.

Wine-free wine keeps temptation at bay Photo via

While some in recovery gulp down and cook up Marinara sauce and French onion soup made using alcohol with the best of them, others feel that even the tiny percentage of alcohol that may not be burned off is too much of a gamble to take. Enter DryGourmet, a recently launched company that plans to offer a non-alcoholic, cool-dehydrated Cabernet Sauvignon powder for consumer sale this year. The brainchild of Ohio-based entrepreneur Benjamin Atkinson, DryGourmet has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $38,000 required to make their powdered dreams a reality. (In other words, if you want to see this on the market, show your support in dollars.) Inspired by a now-sober longtime friend, who “finds cooking to be a ritual that supports his sobriety,” Atkinson looked into who out there was marketing alcohol-free wines to the sober community. His answer? No one. While Ariel and Sutter Home’s Fre, among others, are advertised as alcohol free, these brands contain up to half a percent of alcohol; DryGourmet's does not. After connecting with a Chilean wine manufacturer named Lucio (“he speaks broken English and I speak broken Spanish—it took 60 emails just to get the concept straight”), Atkinson has been able to produce the alcohol-free wine powder. Once funding is procured, DryGourmet plans to sell it in 200-gram pouches at $17 apiece: “about the cost of a decent bottle of Cabernet.” 

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.