Consumption if wine had no alcohol

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How would your wine consumption change of wine had no alcohol?

Stay the same
23
13%
Increase
81
46%
Decrease
40
23%
Approach zero
32
18%
 
Total votes: 176

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AndrewH
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Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#1 Post by AndrewH » December 3rd, 2018, 10:25 am

More of a thought experiment, which we were discussing over dinner recently:

If wine had no alcohol in it, but otherwise tasted/smelled the same in all respects, would you still drink the amount you do?

Assume also no added or decreased nutritional benefits, such as fewer calories or less of the stuff we use to justify consumption for health reasons.

(And, as should be obvious, this isn't about alcohol-free wines.)
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#2 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 3rd, 2018, 10:51 am

Increase. I believe.

I *rarely* reach for wine when it's the alcohol I'm after, instead preferring beer or a liquor-based drink.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#3 Post by robert creth » December 3rd, 2018, 10:57 am

What would be the point? If there is no alcohol, there is no wine. It is the reason for wine. I don’t drink wine to get drunk but I do enjoy the social and physical buzz. I wouldn’t bother otherwise.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#4 Post by Sh@n A » December 3rd, 2018, 11:18 am

Sounds like there is a business opportunity for non-fizzy, non-alcoholic fruit juice mixed with pencil shavings, garden hose, dirt and leather. And 5 percent of the time, it’s gone bad.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#5 Post by Markus S » December 3rd, 2018, 11:48 am

What's the point?
If you cannot get your kicks from fermented grapes, why bother? There's plenty of soda and lassis to consume.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#6 Post by R. Frankel » December 3rd, 2018, 12:01 pm

I think this is a fine thought experiment, and this isn’t the first time I’ve considered this question. I don’t really care about getting buzzed and would generally prefer not to have any of the intoxicating side effects of alcohol.

But still a fair question - could wine be as (potentially) special without the alcohol? Why or why not? There are premium foods that are not intoxicating (Kobe beef, fresh lobster, caviar, truffles, hand crafted chocolate). This is hard! The only thing I can think of is a kind of social inertia - we are used to luxury drinks containing alcohol. Other reasons?
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#7 Post by c fu » December 3rd, 2018, 12:08 pm

I'd definitely save a ton of Uber/Lyft bills. If it tasted exactly the same, it wouldn't matter to me if it had alcohol or not.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#8 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 3rd, 2018, 12:13 pm

Wait: does the cost remain the same? Do the calories decrease commiserate with the reduction in alcohol?

I suspect my consumption would drastically decrease towards but not quite arriving at zero, as neither the cost nor (especially) the calories would be justified.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#9 Post by ky1em!ttskus » December 3rd, 2018, 12:16 pm

c fu wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 12:08 pm
I'd definitely save a ton of Uber/Lyft bills. If it tasted exactly the same, it wouldn't matter to me if it had alcohol or not.
This.

I think I would be poor, assuming it cost the same. I’d prob drink it non-stop.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#10 Post by Sh@n A » December 3rd, 2018, 12:20 pm

I guess if it tasted exactly the same. There would still be sensory thrills to be had. But I would have to move up to quality spectrum, and I would generally drink it less often.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#11 Post by Ian Sutton » December 3rd, 2018, 2:42 pm

A difficult question.

I suspect the same, on the grounds that ability to drink more in a session would start off being attractive but would quickly lose interest. Sometimes the effect is pleasing, having a relaxing evening with friends and letting the slow effect of the alcohol help that relaxation, with it shaping the relaxation as the evening wears on. I would miss elements of that. I daresay if there was no alcohol, we'd be sharing bottles at work with colleagues who shared an interest, perhaps going so far as to have a regular tasting club in the canteen.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#12 Post by Bryan Carr » December 3rd, 2018, 2:48 pm

I'd absolutely drink it more often as I'm mostly into wine for the sensory aspect. When I want to drink and party I almost never reach for wine, it's usually cheap beer or cocktails in that case. 9 times out of 10 if I decide not to drink wine at home it's because I either don't want to be fuzzy that night or I don't want to feel less than 100% the next day. If it was alcohol-free I'd drink it probably every night.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#13 Post by Bob Summers » December 3rd, 2018, 3:40 pm

I drink for taste. If a tavern doesn't have craft beer, I'll drink Iced tea. I would definitely drink more wine if it had no alcohol. I ride a motorcycle (35-40K miles/yr) so I have to be extremely careful about alcohol consumption. I would love to be able to consume a whole bottle of wine at a pot luck gourmet picnic.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#14 Post by NickRut » December 3rd, 2018, 3:42 pm

I’d drink about the same amount, unless it drove the calories down significantly. Then I’d drink substantially more.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#15 Post by SOvery » December 3rd, 2018, 5:09 pm

My initial reaction was yes, lots more, but on reflection, it occurs to me that the alcohol is an important part of the wine experience because it works to limit consumption and make the drinking of wine special: you can only drink (or remember) so much; you have to consider the post drinking window - to not use heavy machinery, to have a nice doze etc. Such an imposition of ‘scarcity’ makes the time spent enjoying wine more valuable.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#16 Post by Jeff Vaughan » December 3rd, 2018, 5:30 pm

I basically drink water, beer, tea and coffee. If wine had no alcohol, I might never drink water again.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#17 Post by Matthew King » December 3rd, 2018, 5:36 pm

In an ideal world, I’d have both ... wines that came with a buzz and an NA version that still had the succulent and savory qualities I like in wine.

I could choose either variety depending on my needs at a certain moment.

I would drink a ton of those NA-style Becks beers, for example, if they actually tasted good.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#18 Post by R. Frankel » December 3rd, 2018, 5:46 pm

I’ve been drinking more German Rieslings this year that have lower alcohol content. I definitely notice the lack of buzz and I like it. Doesn’t mean I drink more lower alcohol wine though; the high octane stuff remains delicious as well.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#19 Post by Marc Frontario » December 3rd, 2018, 6:43 pm

I put down a big fat zero.....I needs me my alcohol!..how else am I going to put up with Alfert and Corey?
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#20 Post by Marc Frontario » December 3rd, 2018, 6:44 pm

On the serious note
...if it tasted and smelled the same i could see a slight increase..only slight because I have to watch my sexy figure
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#21 Post by Jeremy C » December 3rd, 2018, 7:07 pm

SOvery wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 5:09 pm
My initial reaction was yes, lots more, but on reflection, it occurs to me that the alcohol is an important part of the wine experience because it works to limit consumption and make the drinking of wine special: you can only drink (or remember) so much; you have to consider the post drinking window - to not use heavy machinery, to have a nice doze etc. Such an imposition of ‘scarcity’ makes the time spent enjoying wine more valuable.

There is a reason why World Cups are four yearly, why people don’t have Christmas every day...
Now that’s an interesting point
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#22 Post by larry schaffer » December 3rd, 2018, 7:14 pm

There is no way to get it to 'taste the same' or 'smell the same' with the alcohol. Alcohol adds body and allows for the aromatics to be as volatile as they are - without it, you would have flavored water that would taste like, well, flavored water . . .

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#23 Post by Tom Reddick » December 3rd, 2018, 8:42 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 7:14 pm
There is no way to get it to 'taste the same' or 'smell the same' with the alcohol. Alcohol adds body and allows for the aromatics to be as volatile as they are - without it, you would have flavored water that would taste like, well, flavored water . . .

Cheers
Agreed. The theoretical concept here is that you could have everything wine offers except for the alcohol- but I do not think that is remotely possible. Plus there is certainly an additional pleasure factor in even having a single glass of wine. The alcohol is central to the entire process.

This is not a perfect comparison, but my parents started taking my siblings and I to high end restaurants at 4 years of age. We were not only allowed, but encouraged, to try the most exotic foods available. And while we were not allowed to drink, we were allowed to order virgin daiquiris and pina coladas.

To this day, I will very often order a virgin daiquiri at lunchtime or at a dinner where I do not wish to get tipsy- and I still love them, but it is basically fruit juice. A lot of the genius and subtle flavor of a really fine example is almost entirely lost without the alcohol.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#24 Post by Markus S » December 4th, 2018, 5:34 am

Marc Frontario wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 6:44 pm
... because I have to watch my sexy figure
Based on your avatar, I'd say you look pretty skeletal. neener
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#25 Post by Steve Crawford » December 4th, 2018, 5:53 am

this sounds like some scary IPOB fantasy.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#26 Post by AndrewH » December 4th, 2018, 6:57 am

Jeremy C wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 7:07 pm
SOvery wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 5:09 pm
My initial reaction was yes, lots more, but on reflection, it occurs to me that the alcohol is an important part of the wine experience because it works to limit consumption and make the drinking of wine special: you can only drink (or remember) so much; you have to consider the post drinking window - to not use heavy machinery, to have a nice doze etc. Such an imposition of ‘scarcity’ makes the time spent enjoying wine more valuable.

There is a reason why World Cups are four yearly, why people don’t have Christmas every day...
Now that’s an interesting point
Agree. Like if cake and ice cream had no calories.

I appreciate the points about "it's not wine if there's no alcohol", but this was more a thought experiment than something practical (although I'm surprised that flavor engineers haven't figure this one out).

I would drink more, although I think the ideal (theoretical) outcome would be having an alcohol-free version of every wine so I could turn to that after a couple of glasses.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#27 Post by larry schaffer » December 4th, 2018, 8:32 am

And just to add to the conversation:

Newly formed BevZero targets non-alcoholic bulk wine sector

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/ ... ne-sector/
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#28 Post by Anton D » December 4th, 2018, 9:32 am

As of this moment, there are 56 liars on this poll. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#29 Post by AndrewH » December 4th, 2018, 9:34 am

larry schaffer wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 8:32 am
And just to add to the conversation:

Newly formed BevZero targets non-alcoholic bulk wine sector

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/ ... ne-sector/
Feel free to create a separate poll on whether your wine consumption would increase/decrease if it contained THC instead of alcohol.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#30 Post by Jim Stewart » December 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm

Anton D wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:32 am
As of this moment, there are 56 liars on this poll. [cheers.gif]
I am almost at the same place as you, Anton. I find the responses of no change or an increase very surprising, almost incomprehensible. I am tempted to make some facetious comments about denial, delusion and the effects of alcohol on these respondents but I will refrain (see what I did there). I suppose there are some relatively unique circumstances where someone tastes entirely for the sensory related pleasure, but I find it incredulous that such a large portion of the respondents would say that. Another WOW !!!.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#31 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 5th, 2018, 1:13 pm

if wine didn't have alcohol, but was otherwise the same, the average quality of my lunches would skyrocket! I frequently think about what wine I'm going to open when I get home for dinner later, and then --- when I get home later, help with kids' dinner, bathe kids, get kids in bed, cook our dinner -- I often find it's too late and/or I'm too worn out to have wine, resulting in no wine consumed that day.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#32 Post by Mike Kuller » December 5th, 2018, 2:58 pm

With no alcohol, it may taste the same but the experience would be very different.

Like near-beer, what's the point?

I no longer drink hard liquor.

But I could see becoming a craft beer aficionado.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#33 Post by Sh@n A » December 5th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Interesting point. Who drinks non alcoholic craft beer? There is no mass market. Would be interesting this same question on a craft beer forum to see results.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#34 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 5th, 2018, 3:43 pm

Sh@n A wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Interesting point. Who drinks non alcoholic craft beer? There is no mass market. Would be interesting this same question on a craft beer forum to see results.
NA beer tastes bad. Brewdog's "Nanny State", which might have been 0.5%, rather than 0.0%, is the best one I've had, and it paled in comparison to normal beers.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#35 Post by TomC » December 5th, 2018, 7:19 pm

Since I only enjoy wines for the taste and the winemaking stories behind them, it would absolutely increase for me. I don’t get a buzz from alcohol, only the hangover downsides thanks to ALDH2 deficiency (aka Asian Glow). I’m sure there are others out there...
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#36 Post by JLee » December 5th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Jim Stewart wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Anton D wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:32 am
As of this moment, there are 56 liars on this poll. [cheers.gif]
I am almost at the same place as you, Anton. I find the responses of no change or an increase very surprising, almost incomprehensible. I am tempted to make some facetious comments about denial, delusion and the effects of alcohol on these respondents but I will refrain (see what I did there). I suppose there are some relatively unique circumstances where someone tastes entirely for the sensory related pleasure, but I find it incredulous that such a large portion of the respondents would say that. Another WOW !!!.
Nice to see some lucidity in this thread.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#37 Post by James Billy » December 6th, 2018, 12:55 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 1:13 pm
if wine didn't have alcohol, but was otherwise the same, the average quality of my lunches would skyrocket! I frequently think about what wine I'm going to open when I get home for dinner later, and then --- when I get home later, help with kids' dinner, bathe kids, get kids in bed, cook our dinner -- I often find it's too late and/or I'm too worn out to have wine, resulting in no wine consumed that day.
This. And my doctor said if I drink earlier, I'll sleep better. So, 5pm or never!

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#38 Post by kyledorsey » December 6th, 2018, 9:50 am

larry schaffer wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 7:14 pm
There is no way to get it to 'taste the same' or 'smell the same' with the alcohol. Alcohol adds body and allows for the aromatics to be as volatile as they are - without it, you would have flavored water that would taste like, well, flavored water . . .

Cheers
I think the question is more appropriately stated as, "If humans metabolized alcohol without intoxication, would your wine consumption change?"
Last edited by kyledorsey on December 6th, 2018, 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#39 Post by Brandon R » December 6th, 2018, 9:56 am

I voted near zero. I think Steve Overy said it very well.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#40 Post by David Glasser » December 6th, 2018, 12:13 pm

As long as we’re making up magical impossible hypotheticals, here’s my ideal: on a glass by glass basis, be able to remove the alcohol from wine with no effect on taste or smell. Once you’ve reached that perfect level of enjoyment, just add a little packet to that next glass.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#41 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 6th, 2018, 12:48 pm

JLee wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:19 pm
Jim Stewart wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Anton D wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:32 am
As of this moment, there are 56 liars on this poll. [cheers.gif]
I am almost at the same place as you, Anton. I find the responses of no change or an increase very surprising, almost incomprehensible. I am tempted to make some facetious comments about denial, delusion and the effects of alcohol on these respondents but I will refrain (see what I did there). I suppose there are some relatively unique circumstances where someone tastes entirely for the sensory related pleasure, but I find it incredulous that such a large portion of the respondents would say that. Another WOW !!!.
Nice to see some lucidity in this thread.
+1

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#42 Post by Brandon R » December 6th, 2018, 2:26 pm

+2
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#43 Post by Alan Rath » December 6th, 2018, 4:13 pm

Jim Stewart wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Anton D wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:32 am
As of this moment, there are 56 liars on this poll. [cheers.gif]
I am almost at the same place as you, Anton. I find the responses of no change or an increase very surprising, almost incomprehensible. I am tempted to make some facetious comments about denial, delusion and the effects of alcohol on these respondents but I will refrain (see what I did there). I suppose there are some relatively unique circumstances where someone tastes entirely for the sensory related pleasure, but I find it incredulous that such a large portion of the respondents would say that.
I can't tell you how many evenings I'm really enjoying a wine, would like to have another glass while reading, watching TV, etc., but recognize that more alcohol is not a good thing that late in the evening (or for my liver, sleep pattern, calories). If I could get exactly the same experience, but not have to worry about EtOH, I would absolutely drink more.

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#44 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 6th, 2018, 4:27 pm

Yea but at your age, Alan, then you be up 3x that evening emptying your bladder! See, alcohol is a good thing. ;)

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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#45 Post by Jeremy C » December 6th, 2018, 4:41 pm

I think a useful corollary to this discussion would be a want for wine to simply have a lower amount of alcohol. If my average bottle consumed was around 5-7% instead of 12-15%, I’d be a happy man. I romanticize the idea of consuming an entire bottle (and thereby follow its evolution during that time) over a few hours, but the alcohol prevents that from happening, without significant negative side effects.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#46 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » December 6th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Jeremy C wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 4:41 pm
I think a useful corollary to this discussion would be a want for wine to simply have a lower amount of alcohol. If my average bottle consumed was around 5-7% instead of 12-15%, I’d be a happy man. I romanticize the idea of consuming an entire bottle (and thereby follow its evolution during that time) over a few hours, but the alcohol prevents that from happening, without significant negative side effects.
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Re: Consumption if wine had no alcohol

#47 Post by Frank Murray III » December 6th, 2018, 4:52 pm

Interesting thread. I seek out lower ABV wines for most of the things I drink now, as it's easier on my 'ol body and palate these days. But, I do enjoy the social component of the beverage and also like the thought that I can't decouple alcohol from what it adds to wine. So, if this is going to work as a premise, then the textural and sensory inputs of alcohol need to be replaced, and if that is not possible logically and in reality, than my answer Approach Zero is how I voted.
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2013 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Grand Cellier d'Or
2015 Kutch Sonoma Coast PN
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet Père et Fils Champagne La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay
2012 Savart Expression Nature Ecueil
2010 Tercero Verbiage (Rouge) Santa Barbara County

Kindness matters.

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