Wine additive is adding up

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:10 29/01/2014

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Nelson husband and wife Miles and Christina Clifford say they have been "blown away" by the success of an alcohol additive they have been selling for the last seven months and are about to distribute it internationally.

The pair sell UBFree, an additive for wine. It eliminates free sulphites, a preservative in wine, allowing those with an allergy to have a glass without ill-effects.

They had recently signed a deal to get it distributed in Hong Kong, where there has been "a stir of interest, we are bracing ourselves for the holy moly moment", said Mr Clifford.

It all came about from Mrs Clifford's allergy to wine.

"Three years ago I was having headaches and nasal congestion when drinking wine. I thought there's got to be another way, I love my wine too much, so we searched high and low to find preservative-free wine. It was really hard."

Through Mr Clifford's business networks - he worked as a business mentor - they solved the problem themselves - and for many others too.

With the help of food scientist Grant MacDonald they invented the product which eliminates most of the free sulphites in wine, and introduces a mineral to help the body process those that remained.

The product comes in either a dropper bottle - drops from which can neutralise a glass of wine - or a sachet, which can be added to neutralise a bottle of wine.

Since releasing it in May last year, Mrs Clifford said they had "been blown away by support of Nelson. Someone today said they can't drink red wine as it gives them asthma and respiratory problems, they tried our product and can enjoy red wine again".

However, they were quick to point it is not a cure for binge drinking.

"It's not a hangover cure; alcohol will do what it's going to do if you have too much of it. It will alleviate some of the symptoms you would have if you weren't to have our product the next day."

They have 45 retailers stocking UBfree through New Zealand and said this list grows weekly. They were also working on a version of it to be added to beer, which they hoped would be released in the next month.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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