Drinking less and non-alcoholic options are on the rise, so we've delved into the world of booze-free wine to see what's worth trying. A word of warning: these wines are sweet, much sweeter than conventional wines. A normal off-dry white will have around 4-7 grams of residual sugar per litre, and many of these have the same amount per 100ml – not good if you’re trying to lose weight. They're too sweet to cook with, too. Low or alcohol-free wines are made by creating a normal wine, removing the alcohol by using a spinning cone, and sweetening the resulting liquid with sugar or grape juice to give it some body. Many have a small amount of added flavouring in them, too. This was definitely the least satisfying category. The two that worked best were the prosecco and German riesling, perhaps because both are based on originals that are a) Sweet and b) Low alcohol. All prices are for 750ml bottles.
Rawson’s Retreat Cabernet
This is made by Australian wine giant Penfold’s. It has a dark spicy nose, and on the palate really tastes like wine, there’s some acidity, body and it’s not too sweet. Fades very fast though and then, poof, it’s gone. Less than 0.5% alcohol.
Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling
Smells a bit funny initially with some earthy notes on the nose, but on the palate it really tastes like a German riesling with peachy fruit and that characteristic blend of sweetness and acidity. This actually made me want another glass.
Torres Natureo Muscat
Along with Rawson’s, the Natureo range from Torres, one of Spain’s biggest producers, are probably the best widely available low-alcohol wines. This muscat is unashamedly sweet with notes of honey and flowers. It tasted best in a spritzer with ice and sparkling water.
Torres Natureo Rosé
This rosé from Torres is also pretty good. Again, there's no doubt that it's sweet (4.7g per 100ml) but the sweetness suits it and the finish isn't at all cloying. If you like Mateus rosé (for those under 40, ask your parents), you’ll enjoy this.
Another very sweet one at 7g per 100ml, but then again, most proseccos are sweet, and the taste isn’t confected. Give this to people ice cold and I’m not sure anyone would guess that it isn’t supermarket own-label prosecco. Great price, too.
Non-alcoholic drinks inspiration
This review was last updated in January 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
We’d love to hear about your favourite non-alcoholic wine. Share your suggestions in the comments below.