This review was last updated in July 2021.
From special occasions and celebratory events to a casual evening drink or get-together with friends, these affairs are often synonymous with a bottle of bubbly. Whether raising a fine champagne toast or popping open a budget-friendly bottle of prosecco at a drinks party, sparkling alcoholic tipples have until recently been integral to such occasions, often leaving non-drinkers with a comparatively poor choice of options.
Thankfully, if you have an alcohol intolerance or are simply wishing to reduce your consumption, there is no longer any need to miss out on that celebratory glass. The market for non-alcoholic alternatives has been rapidly expanding over the past few years and, with it, a range of convincing faux champagnes, ‘noseccos’, sparkling teas and low-alcohol wines which offer a similar mouthfeel, bubble and flavour profile to the real thing.
This is in part due to a growing demand for no- and low-alcohol drinks among health-conscious consumers, in addition to technological advances in the production of de-alcoholised wine, which allow the alcohol-soluble aroma and flavour compounds to be removed without compromising the complex character of the drink. Furthermore, premium quality sparkling teas and fermented drinks such as kombucha are also emerging on the scene as compelling alcohol-free alternatives to sparkling wine and champagne.
We tried out a range of non-alcoholic alternatives – all of which have a 0% volume of alcohol. From pocket-friendly supermarket sparkling wines to more pricey teas and kombuchas, we’ve found a drink to suit a range of budgets, occasions and taste preferences.
What is non-alcoholic wine?
Technically a precise definition of alcohol-free wine is fermented wine that has had the alcohol removed through either reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation. Additional ingredients are then often added back in to enhance the body and texture. However, our review also encompasses a broader range of sparkling teas and kombucha as we feel some of these offer an equally credible alternative to champagne or sparkling wine due to their similar mouthfeel.
Read on to discover our pick of the best non-alcoholic sparkling wines. For more than 400 buyer’s guides, visit our review section and find taste tests of non-alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks, non-alcoholic spirits and non-alcoholic beer. In addition, we have plenty of inspiration for non-alcoholic drink recipes.
Thomson & Scott ‘Noughty’
Having earned its place as the world leading alcohol-free alternative to champagne and sparkling wine, Noughty sets the bar high for competitors and was in our opinion the closest match for a real wine. Two varieties are currently available, boasting a range of credentials: vegan, organic, low in sugar and halal-friendly. The lightly carbonated chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple, while the recently released rosé is a delicate blend of fresh summer berries. At only 14 calories per glass, it is also the lightest wine we tried, yet this does not detract from the flavour. Produced using traditional winemaking methods along with vacuum distillation, both drinks achieve a sophisticated balance of sweetness and acidity which is invigorating on the palate.
Harvey Nichols Alcohol-Free Chardonnay
A fitting alternative to champagne, this gently sparkling, vegetarian-friendly wine takes your tastebuds on a tropical voyage through aromas of passion fruit, guava and mango, finishing with a refreshing hint of citrus. Made from expertly de-alcoholised chardonnay grapes, it edges towards the sweet side and would work well mixed in with a bitter spritzer or tonic, or enjoyed alongside seafood. Although pricier than some of it’s counterparts, we feel the complexity of taste and refined mouthfeel of this de-alcoholised wine warrants its place as a luxury beverage.
Fortnum & Mason’s Rosé Sparkling Tea
For those seeking a drier alternative to rosé, Fortnum’s sparkling is your ideal bottle. Blending deep darjeeling and smooth silver needle white tea with fresh Japanese sencha and fruity hibiscus tannins, this sparkling tea delivers a delightful cacophony of flavours on the palate. Despite it’s structural complexity, this tea is expertly well-rounded and strikes a harmonious balance between the base of 11 teas and various herbal components. Due to its dryness, it pairs well with light seafood dishes or cured ham, and is perfect for sipping in the sun. Priced at £16.95, this is definitely one worth splashing out on for special occasions.
LA Brewery Sparkling English Rose Kombucha
Similarly to sparkling tea, kombucha isn’t actually based on wine but has a distinctly tangy flavour and touch of acidity reminiscent of a fine bubbly. Created by fermenting sweetened tea with a mother culture or SCOBY, the end product has a combination of bacteria and acetic acid, giving this fizzy drink its addictively tart, funky flavour. Furthermore, the fermentation process is believed to yield a host of benefits, including a high probiotic content, anti-oxidant properties and being naturally low in sugar due to its conversion into acids.
L.A Brewery’s sparkling rose kombucha has been finely crafted at its Suffolk microbrewery as a homage to English sparkling wines and showcases the countryside’s rich foraging heritage. Tangy assam and white monkey green tea provide a delicate base for floral infusions of organic white rose petals and wild elderflower. We enjoyed the gentle effervescence of this drink along with the fine balance of fresh citrus flavours and wildflowers on the nose, culminating in a crisp, dry finish. Best served chilled as an aperitif or celebratory drink, we think it’s well worth the price for a high-end champagne alternative based on quality teas.
Eisberg Sparkling Blanc
One of the drier sparkling wines we tried, German producer Eisberg’s sparkling blanc delivers a refreshing crispness to the palate on each sip. It’s tangy apple and peach-scented notes leave a pleasantly piquant aftertaste and the thick mouthful offers a convincing alternative to wine. The medium-dry quality of this wine make it a fitting aperitif to cut through rich pasta sauces and desserts. At only 33 calories per glass, it is also one of the lighter de-alcoholised wines on offer.
Copenhagen Sparkling Tea – Blå
Combining Nordic innovation and Asian tea traditions, The Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company was founded in 2017 by the award-winning sommelier, Jacob Kocemba, and his business partner, Bo Sten Hansen. It offers a fine selection of organic low- and non-alcoholic sparkling drinks based on a range of organic teas, varying between 0% and 5% in alcohol content.
We were particularly impressed by Blå (blue), a 0% drink which offers a pleasantly fresh and aromatic blend of jasmine, citrus and grape juice along with a complex mix of 13 teas. The delicate, softer notes of white tea balance with the deeper, tangier flavours from green and black, plus a hint of tannins from darjeeling. We loved the unique perfumed aromas and think this versatile beverage could work equally well as an alcohol-free aperitif to accompany light mains as well as a dessert wine.
M&S Fizzero Rosé
A gently sparkling pink fizz with strawberry-scented tones conjuring balmy days of summer. Tending towards the sweeter end of the spectrum, Fizzero blends sparkling fermented grape juice with green tea, which adds to the complexity of flavour. At only £3.75, we thought it was remarkably good value for the quality.
Available in store (£3.75)
La Gioiosa Alcohol-Free Italian Sparkling Wine
This slightly sweet, full-bodied Italian sparkling wine alternative carries a light, fruity aroma comprising hints of apple, white glera grape and pear. Combined with delicate floral flavours, it is strongly reminiscent of prosecco and comes as no surprise that La Gioiosa is one of Italy’s leading producers of this sparkling wine. Enjoy it served chilled on its own, or mixed into fruity mocktails for the perfect summer party drink.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly, alcohol-free alternative to prosecco, this hits the spot. With a fruity taste, reminiscent of elderflowers, it would make a brilliant base for mixing summer party mocktails. As a bonus, it’s vegan and a large glass of Nozeco comes in at around 70 calories, so is suitable for health-conscious drinkers who still want a good level of sweetness.
Freixenet Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé
Hailing from renowned sparkling wine producer, Freixenet, this pink fizz more than pulls its weight in the alcohol-free market. An expertly de-alcoholised wine with medium levels of fizz and notes of summer berries and tropical fruits, it makes a refreshing accompaniment to starters, creamy desserts and fruit-based dishes.
Belle & Co Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé and Brut
Rather than actively de-alcoholising its wine, Belle & Co’s USP centres around crafting a beverage which retains all the characteristic complexity of wine, yet produces no alcohol during the fermentation process. Its product range comprises a refreshing sparkling brut and rosé which are vegan, low-calorie and gluten-free. Both combine sparkling fermented grape juice with premium quality green tea to produce a well-balanced flavour profile and lasting tang.
While the brut is perhaps a little less complex than other wines, we think it would work perfectly as a fresh, crisp base for mixing into mocktails. The rosé is enriched with organic black carrot extract, giving it a pleasantly sweet and subtly spicy aftertaste, which gives it the edge in our opinion. Both wines have a delicate grape-scented flavour which could easily be paired with a range of sweet and savoury dishes. At only £3.50 per bottle, we thought they were excellent value for money.
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