Whether cutting down for dietary reasons, as part of Dry January after Christmas indulgences or you live your life free of alcohol, there are a number of reasons you may wish to swap out a bottle of wine for an alcohol-free alternative. While those ditching alcoholic beverages can always just turn to soft drinks, many people start to miss the complex flavours of wines or feel out of place when amongst other people who are drinking alcohol.
With around 25% of people who drink alcohol in the UK looking to cut back on the amount they consume this year, it is predicted that no or low alcohol wine options will be one of the biggest trends in the drinks industry over the next year. Waitrose reported that their sales of non-alcoholic wine had increased by 31% during 2018, and similar results can be seen across other alcohol sellers. Research also suggests that alcohol consumption is on the decrease, especially amongst younger people, with 55% of 18-24 year olds not drinking on weekdays.
Low Alcohol vs No-Alcohol Wine
There are two forms of ‘non-alcoholic’ wine; one with no alcohol in and another with a very small percentage of alcohol in, typically around 0.5%. For comparison, a standard glass of wine will usually have an average of 12% ABV. Of course, if you cannot drink alcohol for health or religious reasons, then a 0% bottle is a must, however, if you are simply trying to cut down on your alcohol consumption, then a lower alcohol wine may be a better option. This is because the alcohol content of wine does impact the flavour, so even 0.5% wine will naturally taste better than most 0% wines.
Alcohol-free and low alcohol wines need to be served at the right temperature, especially lighter wines such as white and rose, which need to be sufficiently chilled. Therefore, if you are keeping low-alcohol wines, then it is important that they are kept at an ideal serving condition in a freestanding or under-counter wine cabinet.
Non-Alcoholic Red Wine
Rawson’s Retreat Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5%
Often rated amongst the best of the non-alcoholic red wine offerings, this bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon tastes pretty close to the real deal – some even say it tastes better than a lot of full-strength red wines! The wine is made using a normal winemaking method and starts off alcoholic but then goes through a de-alcoholising process to leave it at 0.5%. Featuring a deep red colour and presented in a bottle that looks similar to standard wine bottle designs, you wouldn’t know that this was a non-alcoholic wine at first glance!
Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon, 0%
With the flavour of red wine relying more on the inclusion of tannins and alcohol than many white wines, it can be quite tricky to produce a completely alcohol-free red that still tastes drinkable! Despite being 0% ABV, this bottle manages to offer up a decent red wine with hints of blackberry, cherry and plum present in each sip. This non-alcoholic take on a Cabernet Sauvignon features a deep and rich ruby colouring and works well with beef or lamb dishes.
Non-Alcoholic White Wine
Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Muscat, 0.5%
Torres is a renowned name on the Spanish wine scene, and they have prepared for the oncoming demand in alcohol-free wines. Made from the Muscat grape, which already produces wines with comparatively low alcohol levels, this medium-sweet white wine is ideal for those looking to cut down, at 0.5% ABV. This wine does not taste too dissimilar to the alcoholic wines produced by Torres, but ensure that it is properly chilled before serving.
Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Alcohol-Free Riesling, 0%
A medium-dry wine with hints of citrus and nectarine, this bottle works best when served well-chilled. Pairing excellently with white fish and seafood, this is the wine to pick if you enjoy a glass of white with dinner. With a bottle design similar to wines with a standard alcohol content, you can easily blend in with other people drinking wine and they’d never know your glassful was 0%!
Rawson’s Retreat Semillon Chardonnay, 0.5%This wine succeeds where many other non-alcoholic wines fail; by presenting a wine with low alcohol levels but without a sugary taste. This also means that the wine has a low-calorie count, especially considering that it is wine, with only 12 calories per 100ml – making this a great choice for those cutting down on wine for dietary reasons!
Are you looking to try swapping to non-alcoholic wines? Let us know which alcohol-free wines you enjoy by getting in touch in the comments below or via our social media channels.