Oddbird: On a mission to change the norm
By Malin Norman | Photos: Oddbird
Oddbird is one of the worlds’ foremost producers of premium wines liberated from alcohol. But the company is also on a mission to change the norms and attitudes to alcohol, and to make non-alcoholic products the obvious choice for a healthy lifestyle.
Oddbird is on a mission to change the perception of non-alcoholic beverages – to transform and disrupt our drinking culture by crafting world-class beverages liberated from alcohol. “We produce quality beverages which are gently liberated from alcohol in order to preserve the full flavours of nature,” says Moa Gürbüzer, CEO. “But liberated from alcohol does not only mean its removal. It means liberation from the norm where alcohol forms an integral part of meeting and spending time together. Liberation means being able to choose with or without alcohol.”
The Swedish brand was founded in 2013 by Gürbüzer, a former family therapist and social worker. For two decades, she worked mainly with alcohol-related family issues and saw, first hand, the detrimental effects of alcohol on our society. With Oddbird, Gürbüzer wants to change the alcohol norms and related behaviours. She wants the question, “do you want your wine with or without alcohol?” to be as common as, “do you want your coffee with or without milk?”.
Oddbird’s products have received praise internationally. Harvey Nichols in London says that the sparkling wine range is “without doubt the finest collection of alcohol-free wines we have ever tasted”. On ITV’s This Morning, Oddbird was named as “the best non-alcoholic fizz on the market”, and SoHo House claims that “when it comes to non-alcoholic wine, Oddbird is the only choice”.
Highly-praised wines and the new 2097 Gin
The premium non-alcoholic wines are traditionally crafted wines from Italy and France, matured for up to 12 months and then gently liberated from alcohol with a unique method that preserves the wines’ natural flavours and aromas. “We work in close collaboration with vineyards and wine-makers, to develop wines of the highest quality and based on our values,” says Gürbüzer. “There are no added substances, artificial colours or aromas. The wines are delicious, and you can really experience the flavour of the grapes.”
Sweden’s first and only alcohol-free sparkling wine, Oddbird Spumante, comes from the Italian province of Treviso, located in Veneto, commonly known as the Prosecco region. It is made with traditional methods and 100 per cent Glera grapes, exclusively from DOC and DOCG vineyards. Another popular product is Oddbird Blanc de Blancs Organic, a sparkling Chardonnay wine, crisp and intricate with fresh tones of Granny Smith apples, honey and lime.
Its most recent release, 2097 Gin is an Arctic botanical spirit, again liberated from alcohol. This gin is crafted with berries and botanicals from northern Sweden, carrying aromas of juniper, lingonberry, cloudberry, grapefruit and citrus, plus earthy notes and a hint of spice. “2097 represents Kebnekaise’s highest peak, 2097 metres above sea level,” says Gürbüzer. “But it’s also the year for the democratisation of drinking culture, when we believe that humans will finally be liberated and able to freely choose with or without alcohol.”
Natural wines, liberated from alcohol
Oddbird is the world’s first producer of natural wines liberated from alcohol, from exclusive vineyards in Alsace. “We work with small vineyards on a collection of wines that goes under the name Low Intervention,” says Gürbüzer. “Everything in the wine comes from nature, nothing has been added.” An example is Low Intervention Organic White No2, a natural wine from northern Alsace. With a blend of the Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Riesling grapes, this is a floral and fruity wine with a lively complexity.
The interest in premium non-alcoholic wines has exploded globally, and nowadays, Oddbird has its own research centre with a team of enologists, who are experts on wines liberated from alcohol, but whom also possess a genuine feel for winemaking. The company also collaborates with global brands such as Porsche on the topic of drinking and driving. Another collaboration is with designer Meng Du and Planet of the Grapes. The bag collection, Unwasted, is made of natural grape leather, which is created entirely from grape waste from vineyards.
“It’s a new way of thinking, for sure,” Gürbüzer reflects. “We have a lot of eyes on us and will continue to raise the bar by developing new premium products. And for every product sold, we’re actually doing something to change the norm.”
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