It feels like we are about to enter a golden age for alcohol free drinks and non-alcoholic wine is no exception to that. The sustained increase in popularity of these drinks that we have witnessed over the last few years is showing no signs of slowing down. The greater the selection of these drinks, the more people turn to them, and as the demand goes up, more and more companies invest time and money into more exciting new products. The industry is booming.
As consumers, all we need to keep on doing is searching for our favourite drinks. This is becoming increasingly difficult though – there are so many new entrants to the market that we have a job to keep on top of them all!
This is where we can help, though. We have made it our mission to discover the best drinks in the alcohol free industry, and today we are focusing on zero alcohol wine. We have below a list of the best alcohol free wine that is available today, so if you are feeling slightly overwhelmed by the amount of choice, have a look at ours and see which one you would like to try next.
How Is Alcohol Free Wine Made?
Before we get started on the specific wines, let’s just take a minute to talk about how the wine is made. Obviously the process of fermentation is what provides traditional wine with the alcohol, but it also has a major effect on the taste, smell and texture. The task for alcohol free wine producers is to recreate these aspects, but without the wine.
Most non alcoholic wine produces employ one of three methods:
- Vacuum distillation: passing the wine through a distillation column in order to extract the more volatile compounds in small alcohol fractions at around 30℃. This is then repeated until the alcohol has gone.
- Reverse osmosis: a complex filtration process of separating out various elements of the drink, before blending them back in without the alcohol
- Spinning Cone Column (SCC): similar to vacuum distillation, the volatile compounds are removed from rotating cones that contain the drink. This is the quickest and most efficient method of removing the alcohol from wine.
Generally, these drinks are always made using a ‘finished’ wine – a traditional alcoholic wine, which then undergoes these processes. Technically, once the alcohol has been removed, these drinks are no longer ‘wine’ in the official sense – the definition of wine states that it must contain at least 8% abv. However for ease, and common sense, we will be referring to all of the following products as alcohol free or non-alcoholic wine.
Top Zero Alcohol Wine
So now we know a little more about it, let’s get into it – our list of the best alcohol free wine.
McGuigan Zero Sauvignon Blanc
Let’s kick off our search with this classic from a company in South East Australia. With over 100 years experience spanning four generations, the McGuigan family have built a reputation as one of the driving forces of wine production in their area, and they occupy three of the top six positions of best selling wines in Australia. To put it mildly – they know their stuff when it comes to wine.
A huge part of the company’s ethos is ‘wine for everyone to enjoy’ so their venture into non-alcoholic wine was inevitable really. This Sauvignon Blanc is made using the Spinning Cone Column method, which is particularly popular in Australia and America.
The four-time International Winemaker of the Year winners have sourced all of the grapes for this, as you would expect, from South East Australia, and have included some cooler climate fruit in order to enhance the characteristics of a Sauvignon Blanc. It is this sort of attention to detail that has helped to grow their reputation – one that they seem determined to preserve when it comes to their foray into the alcohol free market.
In terms of tasting notes and aromas, you will first find citrus and gooseberry on the nose, as well as subtle hints of grass. You will then get a delightful hit of passionfruit and lime, before the refreshing crisp finish. It is the perfect drink for a sunny afternoon sat outside.
One criticism that is often thrown at non-alcoholic wines, and non-alcoholic drinks in general actually, is that in order to compensate for the lack of alcohol, they are too sweet and sickly. This is not the case here at all – it’s very much a ‘grown up’ drink for people that want to enjoy a glass of wine without the alcohol.
In terms of price, this is one of the cheaper bottles that we are looking at on this list, and it is a perfect place for us to start our search for the best alcohol free wines. Give this one a try and then try and find one to beat it – you may struggle!
Oddbird Spumante 0%
Our first sparkling wine now, with this fantastic offering from Oddbird in Sweden. Since 2013, Moa Gürbüzer has dedicated her life to producing wine that has been ‘liberated’ from alcohol, having spent the previous two decades working as a social worker – supporting families that were dealing with alcohol related issues.
It is an inspiring story – the entire purpose of the company is to try to change the minds of people with regards to alcohol by creating delicious wines. The word ‘liberation’ is often used by them – not only referring to the lack of alcohol in the drink, but also the liberation of the stranglehold that alcohol can hold over people.
Of course, this mission would be doomed to failure if the drinks that they produced weren’t any good. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that I am here to report that this is an excellent alcohol free sparkling wine.
This wine is produced over the course of 12 months, before the alcohol is removed using a unique and patented technique that they don’t go into much detail about – presumably trying to fend off competitors copying! The result, though, is an authentic tasting wine, with all of the flavour and aroma that you would expect from a traditional sparkling wine.
What flavours? Well, this is packed to the brim – elderflower, honey, gooseberry, citrus and grapefruit all dance around in this lively and exciting drink, as well as notes of apple and pear. Made with Glera grapes from the Prosecco region of Italy, this retains a high acidity level, to create a nicely balanced drink with a crisp finish. Another fantastic option for a drink outside on a hot day.
This is priced at a similar point to a ‘traditional’ sparkling wine, so there is nothing to put you off from that point of view. It is a very easy drinker, and adds a little bit of excitement to a sunny afternoon. This is a wonderful option from a company that truly has your best interests at heart.
Pierre Zéro Alcohol Free Rosé
How about we head down to the South of France for the next wine? To be specific, we are going down to the Languedoc-Roussillon region to sample our first rosé to make this list of the best alcohol free wines.
Most of the producers that we feature on this list have a story as to why they moved into making alcohol free wines, and Pierre Zéro are no different. When one of the founders of Domaines Pierre Chavin, a wine merchant company, had two children, she basically stopped drinking alcohol for four years. Not wanting to go without one of her great loves for that long, she set about creating a product that represented everything she loved about wine, but without the alcohol, and Pierre Zéro was born.
This rosé has had the alcohol removed from it using the spinning cone column, which is used on the wine that has been made with a combination of Chardonnay (80%) and Merlot (20%) grapes. The grapes are harvested at night so that they are cooler, all in the South of France.
The result is a beautifully looking, and tasting, rosé. It is quite light in colour, and it seems to genuinely sparkle when you pour it. The red fruits really shine through on the pallet and you get a delightfully refreshing finish. I served it over ice, and that made for such a lovely early evening drink – great for a BBQ.
It’s a great price too. Available in a 3 litre ‘party box’ you will delight your guests with this drink, but without breaking the bank. If you like a rosé, this could be the best option for you.
Win-e Tempranillo Spanish Red Non-Alcoholic Wine
Staying in a Mediterranean climate, we’ll head over to Spain now to try the first red wine on our list so far – this offering from Win. Based in Valladolid in Northwest inland Spain, they only use either Verdejo or Tempranillo grapes for their wine – in this case Tempranillo.
To remove the alcohol, once again the Spinning Cone Column technique is employed, with every effort taken to maintain the flavours and aromas of the original drink, as well as the polyphenols, anthocyanins & antioxidants. They go to painstaking lengths to ensure that the drink is as authentic as possible.
What you end up with after this process is a bright, clear full bodied red that produces clean aromas of red fruit. From the first sip, you get a delightful hit of cherries, blackberry and strawberries as well as some subtle notes of spice. It has a medium acidity, and as such is incredibly easy to drink – you’ll be on to your second glass before you know it!
I have always preferred red wine, so I was predisposed to like this drink before I tried it – however, I was so impressed with it after just one sip. It is recommended that you drink this chilled, which goes against my instinct when drinking red wine, but I have to say it was so refreshing and delicious, that I would wholeheartedly encourage you to do the same.
Priced at the same point as a decent bottle of red wine, I can’t think of a reason why you should not give this one a go. Drinking it chilled may mean it doesn’t work as a direct replacement to most alcoholic red wines, but it makes for an incredibly satisfying drink.
Morouj Cabernet Sauvignon 0.0%
Back over to Sweden now for another wine from Oddbird – or at least from MRG Wines which is the former name of Oddbird, taking the initials of the founder Moa Gürbüzer. Obviously Scandanvia has not traditionally been renowned for their wine production, but that is all beginning to change now.
Another red wine now, and a more traditional one than the Win-e product that we looked at above. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon that has been aged in oak barrels in order to preserve the natural aromas and characteristics of the grapes, before the alcohol was removed using the SCC technique.
This gives you a seriously full bodied red, that is packed full of flavour. The flavour of the grapes powers to the front from the first sip, and you get more than a hint of blackcurrant sweeping in behind. The flavour seems to hit every single taste bud as it slips its way down – this is a drink that will really stick in your head long after you have drunk it.
It is great on a dark autumnal evening, with a plate of cheese or meat. Like I said, much more in line with traditional red wines.
It is priced at a level that you would normally expect to pay for a decent red wine, again, so there is nothing to put you off there. It is a great drink to have with a meal, when you do not want a heavy, alcoholic red wine. I have already stated how I am particularly keen on red wines, well this is one of the best alcohol free red wines I have tasted.
Thomson & Scott Noughty Rosé – Organic Alcohol Free Sparkling
Something a little bit different now – a sparkling rosé from London based company Thomson & Scott, who have recently launched their alcohol free wine brand Noughty. Not only are they free of alcohol, their drinks are also organic, vegan, low-sugar, halal and produced with sustainability in mind. They are a company that are looking to make the world a better place.
This sparkling rosé is a great example of the range of drinks that are available in the non-alcoholic market today. Using Tempranillo grapes sourced from the south of Spain (La Mancha), the wine was produced using stainless steel vats, before having the alcohol removed via vacuum distillation. After this, it undergoes a light carbonation, to give it its fizz.
It is a drink to add that wow factor to gatherings, that’s for sure. From the first pop of the cork, you get a real sense of just how delicate and sweet this rosé is. On the nose, you get a sense of sweet apple, and it is a very light pink in colour. When you sip you get a sense of soft fruits with a rich sweetness. It’s a medium-dry palate.
This is slightly more expensive than the other wines that we have looked at on this list so far, but I would say that this is not for everyday drinking – this is for special occasions, as part of a celebration, and as such the price will be nothing to put people off. It certainly feels like a special drink, and a great one to have in the fridge ready for a toast!
Barrels and Drums Chardonnay
We’re heading over to Sweden again now (not a sentence I thought I would write so often in a piece on the best wines!) for a Chardonnay from Barrels and Drums – a non-alcoholic wine producer that has made it their mission to produce wines that can be paired perfectly with food. They focus so much on food that they provide detailed recipes for all of their drinks!
‘Love food, love wine and most of all love life’ is their motto, and this Chardonnay has clearly been produced with a lot of love. Using grapes from Spain, they have created a wine with the aim of being the perfect accompaniment to seafood, grilled meats or cheese.
Never one to shy away from a challenge (or a plate of cheese, seafood and meat) I decided the only way to sample this is to try it exactly as the producer intended. I got myself nicely settled with a platter of some of my favourite foods, and opened the bottle. The first thing you experience is the pear and peach aromas, and then when you sip you are hit by the apple, tropical fruits and citrus of the taste. It really is a taste sensation.
The whole experience of drinking this wine, accompanied by the food, was tremendous. The close link between the food and the drink made both of them incredibly enjoyable, and it really made for a wonderful evening. It was like being at a fancy restaurant and having the pairings with each course!
Again, we are looking at a bottle of wine priced exactly where you would expect to pay for a bottle. To get the full experience though, make sure you also get the cheese, meat or seafood to go with it – I promise you will not regret it!
Nozeco Rosé Sparkling Wine
We’ll take a look at a different kind of company to finish our list of the best alcohol free wines. Most of the other producers that we have seen so far on the list have been small wine producers, some only producing non alcoholic, but most have been quite small producers. Nozeco (more on the name in a minute) are part of the GCF Group (Les grands chais de France) who have countless wines under their ever-expanding umbrella, including J.P Chenet – the biggest selling French wine brand in the world.
In short, these are part of a humongous group of wine producers, and that knowledge and experience has been poured into the process of making Nozeco. You may have seen ‘Nosecco’ on the supermarket shelves before – well that is the same product. A court recently ruled that the name was too close to, and therefore easily confused with, Prosecco, thus the name change.
With all that sorted, on to the drink itself. Another sparkling rosé, this is an incredibly refreshing drink that retains that element of joy and celebration. The aromas are very floral, that immediately hit as soon as the bottle is open, and the intense fruity flavours compliment the light tingly bubbles very nicely indeed.
If you can afford to stretch to a case of six, this becomes the cheapest drink that we have looked at on this list. All of a sudden, a sparkling non-alcoholic wine goes from being a luxury, save-for-special-occasions drink, to one that you could crack open whenever the mood strikes (which in our house is quite often!).
My recommendation is to buy a case of this wine with a view to store away somewhere – you can kid yourself that it’s there for an impromptu special occasion, but my guess is that you will be sneaking off to open a bottle before the end of the first week. At the price, and considering how pleasant it is to drink, I wouldn’t blame you for a second.