Beer & Wine Wine

The 10 Best Nonalcoholic Wines to Drink in 2021

No-octane sippers that don't sacrifice the flavor.

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Best Non-Alcoholic Wines

Liquor / Chloe Jeong

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 a handful of our favorite nonalcoholic choices for times that simply call for a little less booze. 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. 

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Best Overall: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling

Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling

 Courtesy of Vivino

Region: Rheingau, Germany | Body: Light to Medium-bodied | Tasting Notes: Lime, Green apples, Minerals

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 zingy palate oozes with flavors of citrus, lime, green apples and minerals.

“Leitz Eins Zwei Zero sparkling Riesling is a dry, crisp sparkler from the Rheingau that shows off the variety’s full aromatic spectrum, from fresh white flowers to white peach to salty sea spray,” says Chris Raftery, sommelier at Gramercy Tavern, calling the bottle “a delicious, mouthwatering sparkling option that just happens to have no alcohol (and also comes in can!)”

Raftery notes that in addition to producing fantastic alcoholic Rieslings, Leitz has also been pioneering non-alcoholic options for almost 15 years. Sip chilled with takeout favorites or simply enjoy solo after a long day at work. 

Best Red: Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

 Courtesy of Vivino

Region: California, USA | Body: Full-bodied | Tasting Notes: Black currants, Cherries, Milk chocolate

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. 

Related: The Best Napa Cabernet Sauvignons

Best Sparkling: Codorníu Zero Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Codorniu Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Penedès, Spain | Body: Medium-bodied | Tasting Notes: Lemon skin, Stone fruit, Honey 

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. 

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Best for the Holidays: Codorníu Zero Rosé Alcohol Free

Codorniu Zero Rose Alcohol Free

Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Penedès, Spain | Body: Light to Medium-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Red fruit

Bubbles and holiday parties go hand in hand, and what better way to amp up the festivities than with a pop of color? Produced in Spain, this sparkling rosé from Codorniu shows flavors of strawberries and red fruits that promise to please lovers of rosé and bubbles everywhere. Stash a few of these in the fridge and ensure that all of your booze-free bases are covered for last-minute gifts, parties, and impromptu celebrations—you’ll thank us later. 

Related: The Best Nonalcoholic Beers

What Our Experts Say

“To keep up with the latest in non-alcoholic options, follow industry leaders (Julia Bainbridge, The Zero Proof, Han Suk Cho), and check out some amazing NA bottle shops that have recently opened over the past couple years (like Boisson and Spirited Away in NYC). There are so many exciting things happening in this space. It's a great time to take a break, for whatever reason!”

Chris Raftery, sommelier at Gramercy Tavern

Best for Brunch: Freixenet Alcohol-Removed Sparkling Wine

Freixenet Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

 Courtesy of Club Cuvee

Region: Penedès, Spain | Body: Light-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Tropical fruit, Lemon zest

“The fundamentals in producing superior wine, including Freixenet Alcohol-Removed, are quality grapes and winemaking expertise,” says Greg Berumen, VP of Marketing at Freixenet Mionetto USA, noting that laborious techniques are used during the alcohol removal process to ensure that fruit-forward flavors and freshness are not sacrificed. 

Brunch and bubbles go hand in hand, and this newly released bottle from Freixenet is a great option. This particular cuvée was first launched in 2011, after two years of winemaking trials and extensive market research. The wine’s bubbly palate is loaded with flavors of ripe citrus, tropical fruits, and lemon zest. Persistent mousse and well-balanced residual sugar lead to a vibrant finish. Serve chilled with brunch favorites –and don’t feel bad splashing a little fresh-squeezed juice into your flute as well. 

 “We wanted everyone to be able to celebrate all of life’s moments, both big and small, in a way that fits with their lifestyle,” says Enore Ceola, CEO of Freixenet Mionetto USA. “This is why we decided it was our responsibility to apply our sparkling winemaking expertise to produce two premium alcohol-removed sparkling options: a Sparkling White and a Sparkling Rosé.” Ceola explains that with these new bottles, consumers “can still hear the celebratory ‘pop’ of a wine bottle and enjoy a glass of alcohol-removed sparkling without compromising on taste or experience.”

Best for Dinner Parties: Fre Alcohol-Removed Merlot

Fre Alcohol-Removed Merlot

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

Region: California, USA | Body: Medium to Full-bodied | Tasting Notes: Black plums, Cherries, Sweet spice

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. 

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Best Rosé: St. Regis Nonalcoholic Shiraz Rosé

St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Shiraz Rosé

Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: France | Body: Medium to Full-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Red currants, Raspberries, Citrus

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 sunshine year-round, look no further than this bottle. 

Best Off-Dry: Noughty Alcohol-Free Sparkling White Wine

Noughty Alcohol Free Sparkling White Wine

Courtesy of Food52

Region: Spain | Body: Medium-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Ripe apple, Pear 

Crafted from chardonnay grown in the sunny south of Spain, this alcohol-free sparkling wine presents just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy those looking for something off-dry. Flavors of ripe apple and pear dominate the wine’s pleasantly fizzy palate, whose finish is energetic, refreshing, and just a tad sweet. Pop at your next at-home happy hour or during weekend brunches with friends for a bubbly, booze-free drinking sesh.

Best White: Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 0% Alcohol

Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 0% Alcohol

Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Marlborough | Body: Light-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Currant 

Although best known for their alcoholic sauvignon blanc, Giesen’s 0% bottling is produced with just as much TLC as the boozy stuff. To create this wine, Giesen takes their full-strength sauvignon blanc and uses spinning cone technology to gently extract the alcohol from the wine. The resulting product is just as aromatic and flavor-packed as the original wine, just without the booze. Expect flavors of lime, citrus rind, and passionfruit to lead to a zesty and dry finish.

Best Chardonnay: Luminara Chardonnay Alcohol Removed

Luminara Chardonnay Alcohol Removed

Courtest of Total Wine

Region: Napa Valley, California | Body: Medium to Full-Bodied | Tasting Notes: Green apple, Tropical fruit, Lemon cream

Looking to fulfill your chardonnay craving sans booze? This alcohol-removed chardonnay is just the ticket.

Produced in the heart of California’s Napa Valley, this dealcoholized wine shows flavors of green apple, tropical fruit, and lemon cream. Aging in both French and American oak provide hints of sweet baking spice which lead to a long and luminous finish. Serve with your cheese boards, seared scallops, or poultry-based dishes. 

Final Verdict

No matter how dry or sweet you like your wine, there’s a non-alcoholic option available in nearly every color. While the experts seem to agree that Leitz (view at Vivino) is putting out the highest-quality products, we found that Codorniu sparkling (view at Total Wine) and Giesen (view at Total Wine) are equally respectable options. 

What to Look For

When seeking out non-alcoholic wine, look for products that actually go through the dealcoholization process. These wines are actually alcohol-removed wines, as opposed to grape juice that’s marketed as such. Note: Most dealcoholized wines will have traces of alcohol, but generally no more than 0.5%.

FAQs

How is non-alcoholic wine made?

True non-alcoholic wine is made via the dealcoholization process, meaning that grapes are fermented, vinified, and created into a fully alcoholic product, then the alcohol is removed via a handful of potential ways (vacuum distillation and reverse osmosis being the most popular). Non-alcoholic ‘wine’ that has not gone through the fermentation, vinification, and dealcoholization processes are simply fancy grape juice relabeled and marketed as such. 

How long does non-alcoholic wine last after opening? 

Unopened, non-alcoholic wine’s shelf life is much shorter than its alcoholic counterparts. Generally speaking, these bottles only last for one or two years. Once open (and similar to alcoholic wine), experts recommend consuming non-alcoholic wine within a few days.

Are there any trace amounts of alcohol in non-alcoholic wine? 

Generally speaking, yes, though in very minimal amounts (and dependent on how the ‘wine’ was made). Real non-alcoholic wines—that’s to say, wines produced via the dealcoholization process—will tend to have traces of alcohol in them, though barely anything at all. On the contrary, non-alcoholic ‘wine’ produced without a fermentation and vinification process will have zero alcohol content whatsoever—which makes sense, seeing as these products are simply grape juice with a fancier label. 

What is the best way to store non-alcoholic wine?

Non-alcoholic wines should be stored away from direct sunlight and should avoid any drastic temperature swings. We recommend simply throwing them in the fridge and serving at your desired temperature. 

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her work regularly appears in major industry publications. She is the content creator and social media manager for a list of prestigious clients, including Sopexa, Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman, Volcanic Selections, Le Du’s Wines, Windmill Wine & Spirits and Corkbuzz. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine.

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