Beer & Wine Wine

The 9 Best Nonalcoholic Wines to Drink in 2021

The alcohol may be removed but the flavor doesn't have to be.

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Nonalcoholic wine may sound counterintuitive, though sometimes it’s exactly what the evening calls for. Among the plethora of reasons to go nonalcoholic (dry January, designated driver, baby on the way, religious reasons, or simply taking a recovery day from a heavy-hitting night prior), one thing’s for sure: taste should never be sacrificed. We’re bringing you ten of our favorite nonalcoholic choices for nights that simply call for a little less booze but–but first, what exactly is nonalcoholic wine? 

Most tend to think that nonalcoholic wine is simply unfermented grape juice, however, the answer is quite the contrary. “Yeasts and the vinification process are the biggest difference between alcohol-free wine and grape juice,” explains Thierry Cowez, oenologist and dealcoholized winemaker for MIS Services in Belgium. Cowez notes that there’s currently no legal difference between dealcoholized wines (true nonalcoholic wines) and simple grape juice labeled as such, which can cause a bit of confusion for consumers. 

According to Cowez, true nonalcoholic / dealcoholized wine is produced from wine that has been fermented with yeasts and has undergone a vinification process, then goes through an additional process of having the alcohol removed. All other fruit-based products marketed as nonalcoholic wine are simply juice. Intrigued? Snag one (or a few) from the below list of the best nonalcoholic wines to drink right now. 

Best Overall: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Rosé

Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Rosé

 Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Rheingau, Germany
  • Body: Medium-bodied

In the world of alcohol-free wine, it doesn't get much better than Leitz–and their sparkling rosé is no exception. Produced from 100% pinot noir, this enjoyable bottle of bubbles is loaded with flavors of strawberries, red berries, apple skin, and minerals. Bright acidity and zesty mousse balance out the residual sugar, which makes the wine taste drier than it actually is. We can’t recommend this stuff enough.

Best Red: Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

 Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: California, USA
  • Body: Full-bodied

What’s better than a warming glass of full-bodied cabernet sauvignon? This big-boned bottle oozes with flavors of black currants, meaty cherries, milk chocolate, blackberry skin, and sweet baking spice. Silky tannins and soft acid lead to a dry, palate-coating finish. This wine has less than 0.5% ABV. Sip with juicy steaks or hearty lentil stews and let the good times roll. 

Read Next: The Best Napa Cabernet Sauvignons

Best White: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling

Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling

 Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Rheingau, Germany
  • Body: Light to Medium-bodied

This zesty, dealcoholized riesling is a favorite amongst industry professionals (including Laura Maniec of Corkbuzz and Christy Frank of Copake Wines), and it’s no surprise why. The wine’s clean and zingy palate oozes with flavors of citrus, lime, green apples and minerals. If you love bubbles, be sure to grab a bottle of their sparkling riesling as well (also available in a canned format, which we find ideal for outdoor sipping sessions). Sip chilled with takeout favorites or simply enjoy solo after a long day at work. 

Best Sparkling: Codorniu Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Codorniu Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Courtesy of Total Wine

  • Region: Penedès, Spain
  • Body: Medium-bodied

Codorniu has long been a leading producer of cava, so it makes sense that their dealcoholized sparkler is just as delicious. On the palate, notes of lemon skin, white stone fruit, honey and citrus rind lead to a pleasantly lingering finish. Serve nicely chilled with fresh seafood, salads or crudité platters. 

“Once you remove the alcohol, the beverage reminds you of wine, although it doesn’t taste exactly like it,” explains Cowez, who reveals that dealcoholized wines are generally ‘rebuilt’ with natural flavors and oenological products to replicate the elements lost during distillation. 

Read Next: The Best Wine Fridges

Best for the Holidays: St. Regis Nonalcoholic Chardonnay

  • Region: California, USA
  • Body: Medium to Full-bodied

Finding a crowd-pleasing wine is key for holiday gifting and gatherings, and this weighty chardonnay promises to do the trick. Mouth-coating flavors of yellow apples, canned pears, and toasty oak are balanced by tons of zingy acidity, which make the wine perfect for pairing with rich seafood, pasta, or poultry dishes. The versatility of this wine is what we love most about it–you really can’t go wrong here. 

Read Next: The Best Nonalcoholic Beers

Best for Dinner Parties: Fre Alcohol-Removed Merlot

Fre Alcohol-Removed Merlot

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: California, USA
  • Body: Medium to Full-bodied

Forget what you thought you knew about merlot—this dealcoholized version will surely change your mind. Silky flavors of black plums, cherries, and sweet spice jump from the wine’s rich and velvety palate. Dinner parties tend to have a variety of dishes and flavors on the table, and this classic red wine promises to pair with most heavier dishes. Serve with mushrooms, sharp cheeses, red meats, vegan stews and more. 

Read Next: The Best Gifts for Wine Lovers

Best Rosé: St. Regis Nonalcoholic Shiraz Rosé

St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Shiraz Rosé

Courtesy of Total Wine

  • Region: California, USA
  • Body: Medium to Full-Bodied

This alcohol-free rosé promises to satisfy an array of palate preferences, no matter how picky the crowd. Notes of red currants, raspberries, and citrus jump from the wine’s zesty palate, which leads to a mouth-coating, lingering finish. Sip chilled with smoked ham with melon, crab cakes, or fried appetizers. For a taste of California sunshine year-round, look no further than this bottle. 

Best Off-Dry: Be Well Nonalcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

Be Well Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

Courtesy of Total Wine

  • Region: California, USA
  • Body: Full-Bodied

For an added touch of sweetness, this full-bodied California cab is just the ticket. Notes of juicy black fruits, plums, pithy cherries, and milk chocolate jump from the wine’s powerful, mouth-coating palate. Serve slightly chilled with a variety of foods, from veggie burgers to homemade mole poblano to dark chocolate-based desserts. 

Best Organic: Le Petit Béret Rosé

Le Petit Béret Rosé

 Courtesy of Let Petit Beret

  • Region: Béziers [Languedoc], France
  • Body: Light-bodied

This organic, alcohol-free rosé is set to hit the American market soon and we can’t wait to be the first to tell you all about it. Notes of red currants, grapefruit rind, and white cherries jump from the wine’s zesty, long-lasting palate. Sip chilled with smoked ham with melon, fried appetizers, or picnic basket favorites. For an instant transport to the sunny South of France, look no further than this bottle.  

“After five years of research and development, we have created a process that works directly with the vines to obtain the best grape varieties,” says Fathi Benni, President of Le Petit Béret. Benni notes that Le Petit Béret currently works with 17 grape varieties. “Our desire is to offer the healthiest offer from alcohol-free and pesticide-free viticulture,” he says. Le Petit Béret is the first nonalcoholic wine to be featured on a Michelin-starred restaurants pairing menu (Auberge du Vieux Puits by Chef Gilles Goujon). 

“Whether as an aperitif or at the table, Le Petit Béret is a product for sharing, pleasure and above all, is refreshing,” says Benni. 

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Vicki Denig is a wine and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Her work regularly appears on Wine-Searcher, VinePair and more. Denig is also the Content Manager for Verve Wine, a bi-coastal retail operation (New York & San Francisco).

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