Fre! It’s wine, it’s in Saudi Arabia, and it’s legal (for now…)

No, it’s not how you say good morning in Swedish or Norwegian (although it’s fairly close I’ve been told). Instead, Fre is a modern miracle of science. Fre is wine without the alcohol. Don’t ask me how it’s done, or if the company thought of Saudi Arabia when they conceptualized Chardonnay without the 14.5 percent on the bottle. But Fre is magical. And it is available in Saudi Arabia.

Now, I know there will be skeptics out there. You will say, it’s only apple juice with a fancy name. No, Fre is different. We’ve tried Fre on numerous foreign friends, and presumably some wine connoisseurs, who’ve come to visit us in the Magic Kingdom. Once we had a group of executives from a very well-known IT brand visit the compound and they thought we were running the biggest alcohol racket in all of Jeddah once they’d opened the cupboards. We weren’t. It was Fre.

Our savior on many an occasion we had foreign guests! And it tastes like the real thing too!

Our savior on many an occasion we had foreign guests! And it tastes like the real thing too!

We first discovered Fre in a popular Chinese restaurant in Jeddah opposite Takhasusi hospital. After that we were hooked, though my wife always swore that the stuff has alcohol in. We always used to find Fre in Jeddah, in Sawary supermarkets or sometimes Danube. There’d be the occasional shipment to Riyadh, to Tamimi Safeway, but Tamimi usually stocked the cheaper and less fancy Vinola. I once took a bottle with me from Jeddah to Riyadh on an internal flight. The x-ray machinist didn’t know what to do with me, bless him.

Fre isn’t cheap at around 50 or 60 Riyals a bottle, but there’s lots of variety (Brut, Merlot, Chardonnay, Moscato, and White Zinfandel) but it’s cheaper than the other stuff one may find in Saudi Arabia and it’s certainly more enjoyable than a stay in a prison cell. Now go and buy some! And if you don’t believe me then look at this video. I just wish I had the distribution rights for this stuff!