A universal truth believed by many is that the perfect accompaniment to any social occasion is an indulgent tipple.
Look to the Italians for instance, whose penchant for wine resulted in the practice of sharing drinks with friends to be ingrained in their cultural tradition as aperitivo hour.
For some, this practice began around your family dinner table, mercifully sipping the last drops of whatever bottle your parents were drinking that night, (Merlot? McLaren Vale? God forbid even Moscato?), carefully avoiding the corkage residue.
Or perhaps your preference for a crisp or buttery variety began in a far less salubrious manner: slurping from a cask pegged to a Hills Hoist in your friends’ backyard, (though the Goon Sack has since been rebranded as a coveted status symbol). Either way, the enduring appeal of wine has seen its endurance since antiquity.
Now, your evenings are spent discerning which wine would pair best with your main course. ”Should we do a bottle of the Sangiovese if we’re getting the tagliatelle al ragu, or a cool Chablis to go with our fennel and trout carpaccio?” is often the chief topic of conversation when dining at a restaurant.
Of course, our knowledge of wine is more superlative than ever, with any and all varieties—pét nat, amber or even strawberry—available at our fingertips. While we argue there will always be a place for wine, many are looking to subvert the wine occasion with alcohol-free varieties.
In lieu of a traditional bottle of wine, inventive non-alcohol styles are replacing the typical booze-fuelled experience, offering the same epicurean journey without any alcoholic content. Its appeal is understandable.
When consumed in excess, wine can be both an expensive and strenuous pursuit on the body, especially when you’re night out turns into a morning of nursing hangovers and scrolling UberEats for the greasiest meal you can find (pretty much undermining your efforts for the perfect pairing by doing so).
On social media alone, the hashtag #sobercurious boasts over 603.3 million views, with videos ranging from making the perfect wellness-inspired wine to mood-boasting mocktail.
Tip: Add a few drops of a digestible inner boost to your non-alcoholic wine for the ultimate beauty blend.
So, whether you’re interested in joining the ‘damp’ revolution—that is incorporating alcohol-free days into your usual routine—or are looking to subvert your wine rituals with something sober-friendly, keep scrolling below to GRAZIA’s guide to the best alternatives to wine.
The Best Non-Alcoholic Wines Top Shop (And Drink)
For NON founder Aaron Trotman, his journey to developing Australia’s leading range of non-alcoholic wine alternatives. After purveying several premium food and alcohol-free pairings across Europe with his sober partner Miranda, Trotman set off to bottle his own 0.0% alcohol mixing Michelin star ingredients with fine dining techniques for the ultimate alt-wine experience. As Trotman explains, NON lands “somewhere between the experience of wine and the exhilaration of a fine dining dish. Something for everyone, at every occasion.”
Since NON’s inception, seven different variations have been conceived, ranging from rich and deep sour cherry, cold brew and garam masala brew that doesn’t mimic, but compliments the experience of drinking a complex red, to a saccharine salted raspberry and chamomile flavour. Our favourite is NON3, a fruity balance that embodies the umami ideology, with notes of bright yuzu, bitter oranges and grounded cinnamon.
Editors note: For our Melbourne-based readers, NON has opened the world’s inaugural non-alcoholic cellar door, offering bespoke tours and intimate wine and food pairings to immerse yourself completely in the world of NON. With flavour workshops allowing you to take home your own brew to the ability to meet the makers, NON’s cellar door is a sensory experience any gourmand must visit. See more here.
NON3 TOASTED CINNAMON & YUZU, $30. SHOP NOW.
Dubbed by the winemakers as “a wine that even your kids will love,” this 0.5% alcohol blend combines sweet verjus (unripened wine grapes) with cherry juice made in Adelaide Hills and Murray River sea salt for the ultimate Barossa Valley experience. Biodynamic, earthy and addictive, you certainly won’t be catching any grape juice blues with this brew.
BAROSSA WINE CARTEL NO, NO NON-ALCOHOLIC ROSÉ $26. SHOP NOW.
Utilising the ancestral brewing method borrowed from pétillant naturel winemaking, Melbourne-based Monceau strikes a balance between tart and sweet with what is ultimately an alcohol-fermented blood orange juice. Formulated in the style of Kombucha, blood oranges from South Australia are brewed and naturally slightly sparkled for this just-over-1%-alcohol-content drop.
MONCEAU BLOOD ORANGE PÉT-NAT KOMBUCHA, $17. SHOP NOW.
For those after something on the heavier side, look no further than this medium-bodied rosé from eco-conscious South Australian winemaker, Tread Softly. Unlike other wines which are formulated to be completely alcohol-free, this variation is made with the alcohol removed, meaning any alcoholic properties are evaporated from the wine after it’s made. Some argue this is a more authentic method of making non-alcoholic wine, but irrespective of the method the result is something palatable and refreshing for all seasons.
Tread Softly Everything Except Zero Alcohol Rosé, $14.99. Shop Now.
If you’re someone who enjoys obtaining antioxidants from a glass of red, this antioxidant-rich “Shiraz” blend is for you. Comprising of dark fruits with rich chocolatey notes, the wine finishes with a slightly oak-inspired texture making it the perfect pairing for decadent red meat or tomato-based meals.
Plus & Minus Zero Alcohol Shiraz, $18. Shop Now.
Mirroring the classic flavour profile of a Sauvignon Blanc, this non-alcoholic alternative plays up the dryness and light-bodied notes. Light on hints of sugar and hailing from New Zealand’s Marlborough wine region, this blend is airy as anything and finishes with a fruity blend of tropical and citrus bursts.
Today for Tomorrow Marlborough Zero Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc, $18.99. Shop Now.
Because non-alcoholic wines play by their own rules, may we suggest a canned wine for you to try? Simply call her T.I.N.A (This is not alcohol). T.I.N.A is the girl you want to be around. She’s jam-packed with unique flavours like jasmine pearl green tea, rosella flowers and raspberry leaf, making her the most effervescent girl at any soirée. Bubbly and bright, T.I.N.A is the best party guest who can take you from after work drinks to long lunches in a flash.
T.I.N.A 2.0, $7. SHOP NOW.