Surely, most of us started 2021 with intentions to eat better, workout, and maybe cut back on the drinking a bit. But COVID-19 is lingering longer than we expected. As it turns out, nearly 1 in 3 Americans have admitted to drinking while working from home, nearly a fourth citing wine as their drink of choice.
But for those of us who choose not to indulge, or just want to cut back on the hard stuff, 2021 has also provided us with a great selection of non-alcoholic wine. From red, to white, to sparkling, non-alcoholic wine has something worthwhile to offer. Whether it’s a socially distanced wine-night with the girls, or simply something to sip on during your next Zoom office meeting, Sip Provisions has the rundown on the best that non-alcoholic wine has to offer.
What constitutes a non-alcoholic wine?
If your knee-jerk reaction to the term “non-alcoholic” or “NA” wine is “grape juice”, you’re probably not alone. Believe it or not, however, this is not the case! Non-alcoholic wine is still wine, sourced from grapes and then harvested and fermented the same way as normal wine. Then, at the end of the process, the alcohol is simply removed, or mostly removed. This is most typically done via a filtration process called reverse osmosis.
And there you have it! A wine worthy of toasting–minus the pounding morning headache. An additional bonus? There are far fewer calories in an average glass of NA wine than the traditional glass, a whopping 26-50 average per 5 oz glass for NA, versus 120 per 5oz for its boozy twin.
Though sales of NA beverages have faltered in the past year, sales of non-alcoholic wine have shown a steady year by year increase of 23%. It will be interesting to watch this trend after the pandemic comes to an end and purchasing NA wine becomes a more widespread habit.
So, what’s worth trying?
Alright, let’s get into what really matters: the wine itself. Thankfully, there is no shortage of options, and you are guaranteed to find something on this list that proves worthy of an at-home happy hour.
Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon
If you’re looking for a NA cabernet that tastes indulgent, this selection from Ariel hits the mark. With aromas of black currant, cherry, and chocolate, and a dry finish, it is sure to hit all the right notes. Suggested pairings include spicy and savory fair, including Tex-mex dishes, carne asada, and even wood-fired pizza. And at only 52 calories per 8oz, you can afford to indulge in this luxurious wine.
Ariel is among a few vineyards that produce only non-alcoholic wines and strives specifically to create products that can directly compete against its alcoholic competitors. In business since 1986, Ariel has had time to hone their craft, so it’s not surprising that the brand has earned a name for itself in the world of NA wineries. Their vineyards are located predominantly on California’s Central Coast. As is the case with most NA products, Ariel’s wine is dealcoholized through reverse osmosis.
Sutter Home Fre Moscato
You may be familiar with Sutter Home’s extremely successful line of alcoholic wine. What you may not know is that they have an entire line of NA wine classed under their “Fre” sister brand, which operates their own dedicated vineyards in the Napa Valley. Fre boasts an exclusive “spinning cone process” to remove the alcohol from their finished products.
Fre Moscato is described as crisp with a clean finish and has notes of white peach and rose. This light and fresh wine pairs best with mild cheeses or fruit-based desserts, so make sure you break out the charcuterie board in preparation.
This Chardonnay is Ariel’s version of the classic alcoholic counterpart. Barrel aged, this wine boasts a bold, oaky flavor with notes of apple and butterscotch. Like the Ariel Cabernet, it is dealcoholized with reverse osmosis, sits at a 0.5% ABV, and contains only 45 calories per 8 oz servings. Pair with pasta or seafood for a more than satisfactory night in.
We’re well aware of the debate: is sparkling wine real wine? Well, that’s up to you to decide! What we do know is that sparkling wine is delicious and great for both New Years Eve and mimosas alike. Thankfully, there are a few non-alcoholic sparkling wines that are great for both toasting and pouring in your orange juice.
Château De Fleur Non-alcoholic Sparkling Wine Champagne
This sparkling wine is produced by Weibel Family Wineries, a brand known for its wide range of labels. This champagne has absolutely no alcohol whatsoever and contains notes of apple and peach. A large part of the appeal can be credited to its true champagne flavor. If you’re sick of pouring the typical sparkling apple cider on special occasions, give this a try.
Sutter Home Fre Alcohol-Removed Sparkling Brut
Another Fre selection, this Sparkling Brut has a fruity body and dry finish. 8oz will put you at about 80 calories. While your first instinct may be to pour it directly into juice, try it by itself, with seafood, pasta, or a good cheese.
Pierre 0% Rose Sparkling
We couldn’t make this list without a Rose option. More refreshing than a red, and less dry than your typical white, a good rose can satisfy almost anyone. Pierre 0% Sparkling Rose describes itself a fine and persistent fizz, made with both Chardonnay and Merlot grapes. Pierre Zero NA wines are all made in France and contain 0.0% alcohol, removed by what they call a “traditional yet complex procedure”. Pierre’s offers something for just about every palette!
Non-Alcoholic Wine is a vast market with something for everyone
Non-alcoholic wines are far from boring. As you can see from this article, there is a flavor for just about anyone looking to abstain from alcohol. The wines listed here are just a couple of the top options available, and Sip Provisions will keep you updated with what’s new and what’s worth trying!