Where zero-proof is concerned, wine has always lagged a bit. Often, the non-alcoholic stuff tastes like little more than grape juice. Meanwhile, there are beers and mocktails that do a bang-up job representing their boozy counterparts.
How come? Perhaps it’s the patience and complexity that goes into a good bottle of wine, something hard to mimic in the hooch-free realm. Perhaps it just hasn’t been taken too seriously. Whatever the reason, we are happy to report that the tide is changing.
Thanks to new technologies (reverse osmosis, anybody?) and a market that’s thirstier than ever for alcohol-free adult beverages, there are some emerging players turning out something worth swirling and sniffing. Whether you’re simply curious or looking after your health, here are the best non-alcoholic wines to try in 2021 (and if you feel like dabbling in the traditional stuff, check out our best wines list).
This blend of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon is dealcoholized, meaning you hold on to a least some of the wine’s nuance. It’s grape-y, but there are some undercurrents of citrus and berries. And there’s a subtle and clever kiss of carbonation that adds a bit of mouthfeel in place of the usual tannin and alcohol.
Of the sparkling wines in zero alcohol territory, Thomson & Scott’s is among the best. It’s made from organic Chardonnay grown in southern Spain and dealcoholized via vacuum distillation, meaning much of the depth and aromas remain in the finished product.
A non-alcoholic take on the popular spritz, Kin’s comes in a catchy can and is made with the addition of spices, ginger, and hibiscus. It’s an especially good effervescent sipper in the winter as it has a warm and comforting feel on the palate, despite being served chilled.
Canadian brand Teetotaler makes some very agreeable wine minus any risk of hangover. The red is made entirely of Tempranillo and offers ripe cherry notes along with a bit of tannin. The white is made from another Spanish varietal in Airén and is quite refreshing.
One of the more popular options, Ariel makes dealcoholized Chardonnay and Cab Sauv. The red shows dark fruit and oak while the white is buttery and made for seared scallops.
An alt-non-alcoholic wine of sorts, Tost is made with tea, cranberry concentrate, and a few more natural ingredients. There’s a bit of sweetness, countered nicely by some zesty notes.
Dubbed a gasified Chardonnay, this lightly sparkling wine from France has a remarkable amount of finesse and drinks nicely on its own or even with a little citrus for a zero-proof mimosa.
Riesling seems well-suited for the zero-proof realm, with its often natural sweetness and big aromatic qualities. This German producer makes a great sparkling Riesling called “Einz Zwei Zero,” semi-sweet with nice apple and honey flavors.
This outfit out of Northern California makes soda on the surface, but it’s made from quality wine grapes. The end product functions more like a wine, in Burgundian flavors like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rosé.
A Chilean project, Sinzero makes some respectable wines with little to no alcohol (some contain a trace so check the labels if that’s an issue for you). The reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the Brut are especially worthwhile bottles.
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