The Best Alcohol Free Wines Are Sparkling Wines
A few months ago we started making some adjustments to our drinking habits and we’ve since sampled quite a lot of alcohol free wine – some of it quite good, and some of it not so good. As a Professional Drinker, I have some advice for you if you’re thinking of embarking on a journey into NA wine and spirits territory, either for Dry days or just for Reasons.
- The best alcohol free wines are sparkling wines.
- Drinking these NA products is absolutely *not* going to save you any money. You might actually spend more on bottles of the quality NA stuff
- If you’re looking to cut back on calories from drinking alcohol, make sure to read labels first, as options may vary in terms of added sugar and ingredients.
- NA wines are a very nice place holder for breaking habits (or creating new habits), and if you’re just generally looking to cut back.
- Adjust your expectations for NA wines. The sparkling wines come closest to tricking your senses into thinking they are the real deal.
- If you’re a serious red wine drinker, my advice is to just skip trying out NA red wines, they will never make you truly happy and some might even make you cry. Stick with white/rose and sparkling.
My Top Three Sparklers
Thomson & Scott Noughty ChardonnayBased on its kind of silly name and their Istagram’s very “LiFstyLe BraNd” vibe, I was not expecting this to be my favorite in the category. But for more serious wine drinkers looking for an NA option, this is my top choice; it would probably even fool me in a blind tasting. Made in Spain with Chardonnay grapes, the Noughty brut has the most vinous quality of the NA Sparklers I’ve tried. Crisp and citrusy, this would appeal to Champagne and Cava drinkers who like a dry, crisp profile.
Leitz “Ein Zwei Zero” Riesling
My runner up for “coulda fooled me into thinking this is the real deal” is from esteemed German riesling producer Leitz. It tastes exactly like, well, sparkling Riesling. A little sweet and a touch phenolic, yet balanced and juicy. Having had their full octane wines previously, I can say their reputation as a solid Riesling producer continues on in their NA offerings.
According to Astor Wine’s website, Germany has been producing non-alcoholic wines for 70 plus years and might be a little ahead of the game. The quality of these wines is improved by lowering the needed temperature to remove the alcohol, preserving its fresh, crisp profile.
Joyous Brut (and Rose)
This is a fun, light sparkler that offers fruit leather, canned peaches and bright lemony notes. It’s very easy to drink. Bonus points for being a woman owned business, and a NA product developed by a sober person. In addition to the dealcoholized wine base, there is added grape juice, but the overall sugar remains low. Solid options for pairing with food.
Surely Sparkling Brut
The brut is dry, drinks a bit like a hard cider, and has some stonefruit notes, and while it’s absolutely palatable on its own and would be happy next to a cheese plate, I tend to make a spritz or mimosa more often than not when I have a bottle open. They don’t disclose which grapes are used, but their website says that they work with CA wine makers. They use something called Spinning Cone Column technology (uses a high vacuum and low temps) to remove the alcohol from the wine. Here’s a video if you want to nerd out more.
They also offer their bubbly in cans, which I love and which is perfect for when you don’t want to commit to opening a bottle. Bonus point for their great customer service. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, they’ll make it right.
Surely Still RoséThis is a solid option for those who really just want a still wine, and it's pairs quite well with food.
These folks make a huge range of wines, and I’ve tried a few, including their red, but the Moscato is really the only one I’d recommend (save for the can of bubbly I mention below). Moscato already gives us a nice sweet, juicy profile and it feels right at home in this NA version (it’s also bottled with 27% juice). This is also probably the most inexpensive option on the list as well, and it pairs nicely with cheeses and rich fatty foods, as moscato tends to do. I’m also a big fan of making a simple spritz/highball, with seltzer and lemon.