I happened to be heading to a night out on the town with the boys. It was a monthly ritual and those of us who were married, knew that our wives couldn’t break our ritual (even though they tried). However this particular night I happened to be taking some medication and couldn’t drink. Given that was the case, I offered to be the designated driver for the night. What I didn’t know then, was that night led me on to try some amazing non alcoholic wine & alcohol free beers, which then got me reviewing all the products out there to try and find the best alcohol free wines on the market.
As a wine lover, I suppose I’ve shyed away from the thought of anything non alcoholic. I mean to think I’m writing a piece like this on an actual wine blog is beyond me. But either technology, the people who make it, the grapes, the process – I don’t know. But on my journey of looking for the best alcohol free wines, I tasted things that we just magical.
How To Pick The Best Non Alcoholic Wine
Well for me picking the best was easy enough. I wanted something that actually looked, tasted and felt like wine. I didn’t necessarily want to try a genetically modified form of grape juice. In doing the research to write this post, I discovered that the number of options out there is fantastic. How ill informed I must have been. There were non alcoholic beers and red wines and white wines, even non alcoholic champagne. How needs Dom Perignon when you’ve got alcohol free champagne.
Well, the truth is I can’t tell you how to pick the best non alcoholic wine just like I can’t tell you what wine is best. What I would start by saying is know your palate. Chances are if you’re reading something like this, you probably know if you like sweet things, or slightly acidic things, neutral, fruity, rich, dense, light, etc… Think about what you like and work backwards.
You could be drinking non alcoholic wine because you don’t drink, or you can’t or you’re simply curious, as I was, to learn more – either way, there’s an array of options out there, where there’s something for everyone.
Why Is Drinking Non Alcoholic Drinks Quite Cool
I could of course bore you on all the little details of non alcoholic wine is made, or I could tell you why I loved it the night I was out with my friends. And that is simply because I didn’t feel like I was missing out. Knowing that I was driving and taking medicine meant that I knew I’d be watching all my friends get shit faced and then have to drop each of them home. And whilst drinking alcohol free wines or beers wasn’t going to change that fact – drinking something that looked like wine, tasted like wine and most importantly got served to me in a wine glass – felt like I was enjoying the night as much as they were. Call it psychological, what have you, but I knew I’d have felt more strange about not drinking if I had drank some juice from a highball glass.
So Non Alcoholic Wine Is Totally Alcohol Free?
You know when they say “it does what it says on the tin” – well this isn’t one of those times. In fact most if not all of the wines we tried be it the non alcoholic red or white wines & even the champagnes, we found have trace amounts of alcohol in them. In fact for a alcohol free wine to be called non alcoholic it must contain less than 1% of alcohol. In most cases, most bottles would have .5%. So whilst that’s still trace amounts, if you’re pregnant or on some strong medication – you may still not even be allowed to drink non alcoholic wine. Worth checking…
What Does Non Alcoholic Wine Taste Like
Well here’s the thing. Some are just sickly!! I mean all you can smell and taste is yeast and the whole process is just ghastly. However, I found some of the wines to be very fruity tasting, very sweet, whilst a few tasting very frighteningly like wine. In fact after I had tried some of these very close matching wines, I wasn’t surprised how wine lovers got fooled by Non Alcoholic Wine in a hilarious test.
Is Non Alcoholic Wine Good For You
Yes!! In a study conducted at the University of Barcelona – they discovered that the anti oxidents that are good good for you from red wine, are also there in non alcoholic wines (but of course minus the alcohol).
Researcher Ramon Estruch, MD, PhD of the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain said:
The non-alcoholic part of the wine — namely polyphenols — exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may be useful to prevent other disease such as diabetes.
Below you’ll find reviews of the best non alcoholic wines, hopefully resulting in you saving time and money by picking the wrong ones.
Sutter Home Fre Moscato – Best Non Alcoholic White Wine
Firstly let me just say that if this had been served as a regular white wine, I think a lot of people would have not known the difference. Secondly, if this was served as a regular Moscato, I’m guessing at least 50% of wine lovers still wouldn’t know that it’s non a standard bottle. Thirdly – OMG!
I loved this bottle of wine to no end. It tasted as good, if not better than some Moscatos I’ve devoured. It was fruity on the nose whilst having a long and crisp finish. I actually paired this bottle with some Salmon that I was having for dinner and my oh my. What a pairing.
I did find this bottle a little sweet, however, that works for me in certain whites. I wasn’t super keen on writing a post about non alcoholic wines, but when you try wines like these, it very much opens your horizons up. After having bought just a bottle to review, I’ve since gone back and ordered 6 bottles to keep in my wine fridge.Buy Now On Amazon
Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon – Best Non Alcoholic Red Wine
Ariel Non Alcoholic Wines in general are a leading name in the world of alcohol free wines, I’m not a fan of their white wines. Not even in the slightest. However, their red wines are simply wow. In fact the Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon is my favourite dealcholized red wine, because it tastes like grape juice and more like red wine.
Of course it doesn’t taste exactly like red wine but it’s as close as you’re going to get. What I found when tasting so many of it’s competitors, was that they just tasted like a bizarre version of grape juice. Not quite grape juice, not quite wine – I dunno, perhaps something in the middle.
Now even though I do like this bottle, I will warn you that it’s not cheap. Whilst this particular product comes in a pack of 2 – it’s still expensive. In fact, on the same week I ordered this bottle, I also had to buy an actual bottle of red wine too. The cost of the pinot noir I had selected was cheaper than the Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon.
Do I think it’s worth the price point? Only you can tell. Do I think this is a great alternative to red wine? Absolutely.Buy Now On Amazon
Chateau De Fleur Non-alcoholic Sparkling Wine – Best Non Alcoholic Champagne
So picture the scene, you’re pregnant and your best friend just announces her engagement. The best red wine glasses in the house get passed around and people are reaching for bottles of champagne. And there you are, clutching your wine glass, knowing at best, you can smell the champagne, toast and put the glass down. Right?
Now imagine the same scene, except your glass gets topped up with Chateau De Fleur. Everything else stays the same, you smell you taste and now in my version you get to drink.
Unlike to many of the non alcoholic wines, with this particular bottle of alcohol free sparkling wine, it has 0% alcohol. It’s sweet and as a non carbonated white wine, it’s punching well above it’s weight. Again and of course it doesn’t taste like the real thing, but drinking fizzy sweet grape juice is really quite nice.
Here’s the thing though – as nice as this bottle is, it’s expensive. And there are some cheaper options at lower price points. Granted, in my opinion they didn’t quite taste as nice, but when you’re buying this, you almost have to stop and wonder?
Is feeling part of your friend’s celebration worth paying over the odds for a bottle for? I’m not sure. And whilst I did pay for my own bottle (we never take free samples) – would I buy it again? Maybe, however, it did taste great.Buy Now On Amazon
In writing this piece I realised a few things. Firstly most non alcoholic wines are not free from alcohol. In fact most of them contained .5% of alcohol. And whilst that really is very very little, it’s still alcohol and if you are on certain medicine, or for whatever reason can’t even have .5% – then be careful. Secondly most alternatives to real wine was expensive. In fact more expensive than the real thing and that’s not exactly encouraging. In fact you’d almost think it would be cheaper than it is. I’m puzzled by this.
However, all said and done – this was an interesting and fun filled day of tasting so many non alcoholic wines, just to get to arrive on this list. I did discover, many cheaper or nastier tasting alcohol free wines tasted simply like plain old grape juice. But with the products we picked, they taste different, had different dimensions, aromas and textures. Not dissimilar to real wine.
There were a couple of things that I did try but didn’t want to write too much about. I did try and use my favourite red wine decanter to see if that would make any difference at all. I treated it just like the real thing and slowly poured it into the decanter, swirled it around and left it. At this point, I’d love to tell you that it made so much difference and made the non alcoholic wine taste even more alive, even more filled with character and blah blah blah…But no. It didn’t make an ounce of difference.
I also tried using the Ariel wine for some cooking. I was making a pasta sauce and instead of using some left over wine from the day before, I used the Ariel. And actually, I can report that it was really good in the food. Embarrassingly, I thought better in the food than the glass. It worked !!!