New Year’s has come and passed, and for many resolution-makers, the month that follows is a booze-free one. When it comes to Dry January, some are more strict than others. While some participants abstain from booze altogether, others opt for low-ABV options or indulge on weekends only.
No matter your approach, it’s likely that many will be embracing some sort of temperate sips. While the non-alcoholic beer and spirits categories have been churning out solid options for years, the N/A wine space is relatively new. Many of the options on the market today are made using innovative techniques and creative ingredients, while others are more similar to traditional wines, though we’ve found that less is more in terms of ingredients.
Whether you seek a hearty red to warm you this winter or a ripe rosé to appease your summer cravings, there’s a non-alcoholic wine that fits the bill. Read on for the seven best non-alcoholic wines we tried this year.
This wine alternative from aesthetically driven Australian brand NON boasts toasted cinnamon and sweet yuzu notes alongside a deep core of energetic fruit. It’s made with verjus — the juice of unripe wine grapes — adding a tart, zippy undertone that’s offset by hints of sea salt. The resulting drink shows a near-perfect balance between sweetness, brininess, and acidity.
Unlike many of its competitors on the market, Sovi Wine Co.’s Reserve Red is made with only two ingredients: Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. The wine is made using traditional methods, after which the alcohol is removed, leaving behind flavors of juicy cherry and plum. The tannin structure is preserved here, and that drying mouthfeel helps to offset the punchiness of these juicy fruits.
Seattle-based Jøyus was founded with a mission to help people on their sober journeys. For those on the wagon who crave the celebratory nature of sparkling wine (and are sick of toasting with sparkling apple juice), this sparkling rosé makes a great alternative. Notes of strawberries and cream dominate the palate, which delivers a convincingly frothy mousse and satisfying mouthfeel. The brand’s classic sparkling wine also impressed our tasting panel with bright, high-acid apple and pear flavors.
This Cava-style sparkler offers a ripe bouquet of flowers on the nose. Lavender and magnolia aromas transition to underripe apple and pear notes on the palate. While many N/A wines are cloyingly sweet, this one achieves a nice balance with tart malic acid and a subtle bubble structure.
Tannic, bold Cabernet Sauvignon is not an easy wine to replicate sans booze, which is why this offering from Waterbrook impressed our tasting team so much. It’s made with just wine grape concentrate and added sulfites, with a tight tannin structure breaking through the punchy sweetness of dealcoholized grape juice. This wine truly gives the perception that you’re drinking traditional, full-alcohol wine.
This South African brand, launched in 2017, claims to be the very first dealcoholized wine on the market. Whether or not it’s the originator of the style, it’s certainly one of the most successful in terms of flavor. Mimicking the capiscum-forward flavors of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, this non-alc alternative is grassy and bright. Lautus’s rosé alternative — with honeysuckle, orange blossom, and strawberry notes — is also an honorable mention.
From Long Island, N.Y.’s Wölffer Estate comes Spring in a Bottle — an N/A alternative to the winery’s popular Summer in a Bottle rosé. It’s a well-balanced blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Saint Laurent, and Dornfelder grapes, boasting ripe strawberry, peach, and lemon flavors. Chill this well and sip alongside your favorite spring salad.