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December, 2022

Drink These Excellent Zero-Alcohol Wines For 2022 Holiday Celebrations

Forbes, USA - Credit, Jeanne O'Brien Coffey

After I was pregnant, I might never have returned to drinking if the zero-proof scene had been anywhere near as robust as it is today. Back then, even at very nice restaurants, nothing that paired well with food but was sans-alcohol was available, so I always wound up with sparkling water.

These days, there are new entries into the NA space pretty much daily, and you can find satisfying versions of everything from beer to a Negroni (I’m looking at you St. Agrestis). Zero-proof wines have made incredible strides over the past year, to the point where it’s not hard to find something to suit every palate and every course of your meal. So here are a few wines that I am enjoying this year.

French Bloom Organic French Bubbly

This is the best zero-alohol wine I have ever had. It’s no surprise, since it was developed by Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, then the Director of the Michelin Guide, and model Constance Jablonski. Much as I experienced, Maggie found the NA options sadly lacking when she was pregnant with twins in 2019. Research and development has an equally impressive pedigree — the guidance of Carl Héline, former head of Champagne Krug USA and Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger, founder of Champagne Frerejean Freres, was uncompromising, leading to a product that is very balanced with beautiful structure -- not at all sweet or grapy, as is often the case in the zero-proof space. Welcome your guests with the French Bloom Blanc ($39) — a mix of de-alcoholized organic French Chardonnay wine, organic grape juice, Gensac spring water and natural flavors such as lemon that is elegant and dry, with some lovely floral and pear notes. Switch to the French Bloom Rosé ($44), which adds de-alcoholized organic Pinot Noir wines to the mix, bringing with it scents of violet and rose, with lush strawberries and raspberries. These wines are versatile enough to stand up to everything from holiday meals to a spread of Korean banchan.

Joyus Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

I have sung the praises of the bubbly from this maker before, and they’ve just come out with a Cabernet Sauvignon ($28.99) that is every bit as enjoyable. Toasty and very nicely balanced, with hints of oak and even some tannic structure, this wine will stand up very nicely to a holiday roast or a vegetarian main. I get a lot of blackberry — and a lot of joy out of realizing it’s only 25 calories per glass.

Jukes Sparkling Collection

I’ve covered this brand before - adorable bottles of a concentrate that you mix with water to create your own strength of beverage. But this year, they came out with a ready-to-drink option (12 single-serve cans, $84), making it a bit more convenient for parties and picnics. Opt for the crisp rosé to carry you from appetizers through the whole meal.

Studio Null Sparkling Verdejo

This brand keeps knocking it out of the park, with single varietal offerings produced with award-winning winemakers and top dealcoholization experts in Europe. You can tell crafting these wines, like the lovely new Sparkling Verdejo ($36), starts in the vineyard. The Verdejo grapes were harvested at the coolest part of the night, preserving the lovely citrus blossom nose and lush peachy palate. Like Studio Null’s other offerings, it was made as a classic wine, then dealcoholized via vacuum distillation to preserve body, aroma, and flavor. This would be lovely with seafood, or chicken. Or paired with some triple-creme cheeses. And the bottles are just as lovely as the wines, featuring artwork from Joshua Owens, "Sunrise Surf Club." Even those who are not “sober-curious” might ask for a glass.

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