Non-alcoholic red wine…the most contentious of all the non-alcoholic drinks.
We have AF red wine to thank for Dry but Wet. My alcohol free drinks reviewing career all started with a blind determination to find a GOOD red wine replacement, a mission that continues to this day. All I bought to start off with was red wine. I’ve tried so much alcohol-free red wine. For the most part it is shit, it doesn’t get the bad wrap for no reason. Thin, sickly sweet, either intensely grape-juicy or vinegary. Or both. As we all know it’s a tricky tricky product to emulate.
There’s no bubbles to hide behind or rely on for body. Red wine we love for it’s intensity, warmth and full mouth feel, most of which comes from alcohol.
But I’m not here today to lament on the fact that no-one is achieving this (yet). I am here to tell you everything I’ve learnt from my extensive experience with alcohol free red wine; how to get the most best experience from your bottle and what my favourites are so far.
Making the most of your non-alc red wine experience…
- LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. THIS IS NOT GOING TO TASTE LIKE THE REAL DEAL!!
- Open a day early. Red wine is the lasagne of the non-alc drinks world. Taste’s WAAAYY better the next day. If you crack a bottle and pour straight away, even the best (noted below) are going to give you much less than their best. So if you can, plan ahead! Crack early!
- Don’t get distracted by varietals. Nothing is going to taste like it’s supposed to. If what’s in your glass bares a close resemblance to ‘dry red cask’ TAKE IT. THAT’S A WIN!
- Enjoy with food. Leave sculling red wine for the sake of it in the past where it belongs. Enjoying your glass (or bottle, no judgement)of non-alc red with a meal is MUCH more forgiving.
- Be aware that the further away you get from drinking alcohol, the more your palette changes and adapts (and forgets what booze really tastes like). So be patient, give it time and know that your experience will change.
My top five non-alc red wines:
5th Place – Sobriety Society Shiraz Tempranillo
A subtle and light wine with peppery notes and a nice dry tannic finish. Read my full review here…
The Winner!! Noughty Rouge Syrah
This wine is in my opinion, light years ahead of the rest. It’s bold, robust, fruity and really really good! I’m drinking this a LOT at the moment!
Also remember, these products do emulate alcohol and could be triggering so please be careful!