The following post was written by Heinen’s wine expert, Ed Thompkins.
Last year we took a deep dive into the non-alcoholic segment of the beer industry and discovered that non-alcoholic (NA) beers are not only surging in growth and availability but are also quite delicious and really do provide a true “near beer” experience!
After discovering (and tasting) the incredible assortment of brews offered in the NA beer category, we couldn’t help but investigate what was happening in the world of NA wines. While the NA wine landscape is not nearly as robust or advanced as its beer partner, there are certainly options that merit a taste.
What is Non-Alcoholic Wine? 0% versus 0.5%
However, before we start sipping, it’s important to understand what non-alcoholic wine is. Much like NA beer, which begins its life as a fully fermented product containing alcohol, NA wine is also fermented and treated like the real deal. We discovered that it’s how the alcohol is removed from the beer or wine that creates a quality product. Additionally, it’s worth noting that “non-alcoholic” wine contains no more than 0.5% residual alcohol (roughly the same amount as kombucha), while “alcohol-free” wines contain 0% alcohol.
It’s also important to remember that without quality ingredients (grapes) to start, it is impossible to make an NA wine worthy of your time or taste. Our favorite non-alcoholic wines receive the kind of care and attention to detail that translates to a truly enjoyable tasting experience.
As with all wines, NA or not, it ultimately comes down to what you like, but after tasting a wide variety of non-alcoholic wine, here’s what stood out to our wine experts.
Codorniu Zero Rosé
We love Spanish Cava, but we really love Rosé Cava, and this alcohol-free version is practically a spitting image of its alcoholic brethren. The Codorniu folks make some of the best Cavas in the world, and this bottle is made with the same quality grapes, which results in an NA wine that’s zesty and flavorful, with classic Rosé flavors of strawberry and red fruits.
Only You Brut
Made with indigenous grapes from along the Spanish Mediterranean, this alcohol-free sparkler provides refreshing lemon/pear flavors with the slightest hint of sweetness.
Produced in Napa Valley, this non-alcoholic selection is made in a style that Chardonnay fans love. It is rich and buttery thanks to oak barrel aging, with crisp green apple-like flavors.
Luminara Red Blend
You can’t make a Chardonnay from the famous Napa Valley and not deliver a delicious red counterpart! Words failed us when we tasted this Pinot Noir and Zinfandel blend, but we were able to finally mutter sentiments like, “this is delicious,” and “it truly has the flavor and structure of a quality Napa Red!” Deep red berry and spicy oak flavors make this gem a great choice to serve with a holiday roast!
Giesen 0% Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are incredibly popular with our customers because they deliver aromatic and citrusy notes that are as unique as they are tasty. Those same adjectives can be applied to this stunning alcohol-free treat. It showcases everything we look for in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, only the alcohol is gently removed!
Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon
This incredible value is made with premium California Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that have been lovingly aged in French oak barrels. Oozing with flavors of black currants, blackberries and mocha, this full-bodied, silky wine is excellent with hearty comfort foods!
Bacio Della Luna Spritz
The taste of this authentic spritz from Italy transports you to a sidewalk café in Venice. Made with premium alcohol-free sparkling wine and bursting with an orange and herb essence, this is an ideal option for an aperitif with a cheese and charcuterie board.