New Year’s Day has come and passed, and for some resolution-makers, the month that follows is a booze-free one. And 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 only on weekends.
If you’re embracing temperance, you might be in search of some booze-free substitutes. And while the non-alcoholic beer and spirits categories have been churning out solid options for years, the non-alcoholic wine space is relatively new. Some producers stick to traditional methods and use only dealcoholized wine, while others incorporate interesting botanical blends that bring more floral and herbaceous notes to the final product.
Whether you seek a hearty red to warm you this winter, a ripe rosé for your summer poolside cravings, or a funky sparkling to appease your penchant for pét-nats, there’s a non-alcoholic wine that fits the bill out there. Read on for the 10 best non-alcoholic wines we tried this year.
Studio Null Grüner Weiss
Aromatic white grapes are the ideal candidates for making expressive non-alcoholic wines, as their innate fruity and floral characteristics can still shine through without the alcohol. This blend of Grüner Veltliner and Gelber Muskateller from Studio Null in Lower Austria is proof of that. It has a delightful perfumed nose with notes of white flowers, green apples, and minerals. The palate brings a bright acidity and is totally dry, which is hard to come by in this category. This is the perfect substitute for those Grüner Veltliner or Riesling lovers searching for a non-alcoholic bottle that brings the bright aromatics.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard Spring in a Bottle
Long Island’s Wölffer Estate has long-expressed its desire to make a high-quality sparkling rosé that’s booze-free, so it partnered with a winery in Rheinhessen, Germany to make it happen. Together, they produced this bubbly blend of organically grown Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Saint Laurent, and Dornfelder. It’s an expertly balanced wine that delivers tart red berry, white cherry, and watermelon flavors. While many NA sparklers end up resembling a cloyingly sweet sparkling cider, the mouthfeel on this wine is dry, vibrant, and has a strong stream of bubbles.
Jøyus NA White Sparkling
Jøyus is a woman-owned, Seattle-based company that aims to help those on their sober journeys capture the feeling of opening a celebratory bottle without the booze. A far cry from your typical sparkling cider, this wine has refreshing notes of ripe peaches, golden apple, and melon. The fine bubbles help lift up these flavors, as well as deliver the joy of popping your favorite Champagne.
Buzzkill Wines Sauvignon Blanc
This canned Sauvignon Blanc from California-based Buzzkill delivers everything that a Sauvy B lover might want from a glass: It has notes of tropical fruit like pineapple and mango, juicy peaches, and green herbs. These cans are perfect for picnics, beach trips, and any other on-the-go needs while abstaining.
Kally Golden Sparkler
California-based Kally takes a slightly different approach to wine alternatives, and blends the wine grape juice with different fruit juices and botanicals to help bring both familiar and unexpected flavors to its bottles. The Golden Sparkler delivers some surprising notes of green tea, tropical fruit, and mint. If you’re looking for a zero-booze alternative to your favorite playful pét-nat, this is it.
NON1 Salted Raspberry and Chamomile
While the bottles from this Australian company don’t necessarily replicate the typical flavors of wine, they do help recreate the excitement of finding a delicious and aesthetically pleasing bottle to share with friends. This expression is made with raspberries, chamomile, Murray River salt, and Sémillon grape verjus from Australia’s Barossa Valley. It’s totally different from anything you’ve tasted before, with enticing notes of tart raspberries, hibiscus, and citrus.
Giesen 0% New Zealand Rosé
New Zealand’s Giesen Winery released its first vintage in 1984, and holds four decades of winemaking experience. In 2019, the winery decided that it wanted to contribute to the non-alcoholic space to provide a Giesen wine for every type of drinker and occasion. This bottle is made in the Provence rosé style, with crisp notes of strawberries and citrus.
Sovi Red Blend
If you’re looking for a chillable red in the NA category, this bottle from Sovi is a stand-out option. It’s a fruit-forward blend of Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir from sustainably farmed vineyards in California’s Clarksburg AVA. The palate delivers juicy red berry and blackberry notes with a slight hint of vanilla, and the light tannins and bright acidity make it the perfect candidate for a slight chill. If you’re searching for a more serious, full-bodied red, we also love Sovi’s oak-aged reserve red.
Waterbrook Clean Cabernet Sauvignon
High alcohol content is typically a big factor in what gives full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon the bold characteristics its fans fawn over, which means replicating that flavor profile without the booze is a difficult task. Walla Walla’s Waterbrook Winery really stepped up to the challenge with this wine, crafting a dealcoholized Cabernet Sauvignon that brings the big, juicy flavors of blackcurrant, plums, and black cherries. It has subtle oak flavors of cocoa powder and vanilla along with grippy tannins. It really brings the vibes of a full-bodied wine to the NA category.
To capture the complexity of typical wines, Proxies crafts its NA beverages with grape juice alongside other fruit juices, tea extracts, and botanicals. Recently, Proxies debuted a limited-edition box with four flavors inspired by different James Beard Award-winning food and beverage professionals. Our favorite was the Pétanique, made in collaboration with renowned chef Dominique Crenn. This wine substitute is delightfully aromatic, with notes of honeysuckle, sage, lime, and green tea floating from the glass. The palate is held together by a linear backbone of acidity and minerality.