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 (or low alcohol). 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.
Remember to check out our article on the best alcohol free gins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tautila Blanco Non-Alcoholic White Wine
If you’re after a non-alcoholic choice of white with plenty in the way of flavour and density, then Tautila Blanco is well worth further investigation.
This alcohol-free white is produced from Airen grapes, bringing an innate sweetness and lively aroma to the flavour profile and nose. The choice of grapes at the heart of this alluring white also provide that desirable density that ensure there’s nothing lightweight about this wine, while giving the nose a citrus character to welcome you in.
If you’re wondering whether the non-alcoholic nature of this wine affects the quality of it, you needn’t. Vacuum distillation is the process at work to remove the alcohol content here, which is often considered a more traditional approach to the process, as well as an altogether less aggressive one. This dealcoholization method utilises a low temperature, with the lower temperatures having far less negative affects on the wine overall. The method is only put into practice prior to bottling, having minimal footprint on the lengthier stages of wine cultivation that perfect flavour and nuances. All that’s really taken out of the equation here is the calories and the alcohol content.
For those conscious about calories or needing to keep a clear head, this is well worth adding to your stock. Ideal with lighter summer dishes, starters or mains anchored around lean meats and fish, this non-alcoholic white is best served well chilled to make the most of the lively flavour and clean finish. An altogether impressive bottle of white you’ll want to try again.
Cabernet Sauvignon Wooded Non-Alcoholic Wine
Non-alcoholic wines used to get a bad press, but anyone exploring this growing share of the wine market in recent years will find plenty of enjoyable offerings. This Cabernet Sauvignon Wooded Wine is one such bottle worth a try, with plenty of personality in the flavour stakes and an enticing aroma that make it a red grape varietal that can hold its own against alcoholic alternatives.
Those seeking a mature choice of red with all the character and one of the side-effects have plenty to get excited about here. With zero alcohol and made with no added sugars, excess calories and a groggy head needn’t impede enjoyment of this Cabernet Sauvignon. A fruity and complex aroma beckons you in, with a palate that boasts all the signature hallmarks of a good Cab Sauv. There’s dark blackberry adding the livelier notes to nose and palate, while ripe plum rounds off the fruity backbone of this brilliant red. Those seeking something extra will definitely appreciate the oak edge of this wine as well.
Those seeking a non-alcoholic red with extra assurances will be glad to know this Cabernet Sauvignon is both Halal and Kosher certified. As such, it’s an easy choice for dinner parties and social gatherings where guests with all kinds of requirements need to be considered. Even if you opt for this red as your main choice, whatever the occasion, you can count on both conventional drinkers and those needing a non-alcoholic alternative being satisfied.
Blutul Red Wine (Non Alcoholic)
Until relatively recently, non-alcoholic wine was often dismissed as flat, flavourless and something to avoid by anyone with half an interest in the genuine article. However, that’s all changed, with the non-alcoholic share of the market now boasting its own premium tier. Blutul Red is one such example of these upper-tier non-alcoholic varieties.
As you’d expect with any red worth the name, there’s bold flavours at work here. It’s all about ripe dark berries and the signature taste of dried fruit here, with a texture that’s decidedly smooth and creamy. The full palate satisfies with a finish that’s fresh, with hints of red currant lingering a little while after each sip.
It’s a beautifully balanced offering, all told. While this Blutul Red will make a fine pairing with main courses composed of dark meats and savoury flavours, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this refined choice on its own. Even those with more than their fair share of experience with red varietals will find plenty to enjoy here. What’s more, the non-alcoholic nature of this wine is nothing to be weary of. Like all the best non-alcoholic options on the market, the all important dealcoholization stage occurs late in the overall winemaking process, leaving flavour and aroma as untouched as possible to ensure a wine that’s as close as you’ll get to its original form.
If you’re after a full-bodied red that pairs well with meat dishes and stands up well on its own merits for when you’re out to enjoy a glass or two, Blutul Red is worth a try. Furthermore, the non-alcoholic and low sugar credentials of this refined red make it a must for those conscious about their calorie intake.
Pierre Chavin Zero Rose Non-Alcoholic Rose Wine
Not all rose wine is created equal and, when you’re dealing with non-alcoholic varieties, the chance of landing on something that strikes the right chord is even more unlikely. Thankfully, this Pierre Chavin Zero Rose is a keen contender to become your new go-to for sweet refreshment on summer days or fruity food pairing.
With its intense rose colour, this Pierre Chavin offering instantly draws you in. But appearance is only a small part of the larger package when it comes to wine, which is why you’ll be glad to know things hit high notes all round. The nose is all about rich, red fruits, with a similarly intense flavour profile that dances on the palate. There’s no need to dread a too-sweet palate, however. Here, a beautiful balance of freshness and smooth fluidity is demonstrated. There’s enough to invigorate your senses, with a flavour that lingers but never outstays its welcome.
Worried the non-alcoholic nature of this wine will diminish its potential? Fear not, the method at work here has been perfected for premium results. Harvesting of grapes occurs at night, with the sugar levels of the picked fruit most stable in lower temperatures. When it comes to the bulk of the winemaking process, things stay largely traditional in terms of technique. Alcohol removal only occurs very late in proceedings, with gentle methods to ensure the flavour and aroma of the rose remains largely untouched.
Perfect paired with light starters or dessert dishes, this richly delicious rose also delivers when enjoyed on its own.
Le Petit Chavin Rose Non-Alcoholic Rose Wine
A good bottle of rose wine is a staple of any summer. Those after a lighter option or those keen to keep a clear head with a non-alcoholic take on this easy-drinking essential could do a lot worse than La Petit Chavin Rose.
If you’re tired of rose bearing a pitiful hue barely worth the name, La Petit Chavin will revive your passion for this fruity member of the wine family. A vibrant rose colour will raise your interest from the off, while the luscious palate has plenty to get excited about, while the aroma is a full and summery affair, rich in red fruits that carry over to the deliciously lively palate. There’s no need to worry about things tasting too jammy or overly sweet, however. Here, the flavour is a decidedly balanced offering, with freshness and smoothness dancing a delicate tandem for terrific results.
With all those high notes to enjoy, you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re dealing with a non-alcoholic wine here. On that note, there’s nothing to dread about that, even for the more discerning connoisseur of rose and summer reds. La Petit Chavin comes from the Domaines Pierre Chavin vineyard in France, with this beautiful bottle the result of traditional techniques that only bring the dealcoholization steps into play right at the end. As such, none of the complexity and subtle nuances of flavour or aroma are compromised, with only alcohol content and surplus calories removed from the picture.
When summer calls, you’ll want a bottle of this beauty chilling away in the fridge. Great with light platters of summer favourites, an ideal companion to starters and desserts, or a fine wine choice for when you’re simply looking for something superb to sip on.
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 !!!