We Tried 16 Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine Alternatives to Find the Best — Here's What We Chose.
Food & Wine, United-States - Credit, Oset Babür-Winter - Photo credit, Matt Taylor-Gross
Celebrations call for bubbles, but they don’t have to be boozy.
Like peanut butter and jelly, or port wine cheese and opulence (just ask my colleague, Kat Kinsman), bubbles and New Year’s Eve simply go together. If your December looks anything like mine, the 31st is likely the last leg of an absolute sprint of dinners, happy hours, cookie swaps, and office soirees, all of which tend to involve some form of alcohol, and few of which you can miss without feeling guilty, Scrooge-like, or a sour combination of both. Luckily, as with non-alcoholic aperitif, beer, and cocktails, the non-alcoholic bubbly space has undergone a true renaissance. Whether you’re looking to alternate between spiked and zero-proof drinks for the entirety of the last party of the year, or want something to look forward to for Dry January, we tasted as many boozeless bubbly drinks as we could get our hands on to find the absolute best. Some of these options closely mimic Champagne or Prosecco, while others couldn’t be farther from familiar bubbly territory. The unifying factor among all of our top picks are that they’ll look festive and fun when poured into a coupe glass, and, of course, don’t contain alcohol.
For the Champagne Connoisseur: French Bloom, Le Blanc
Our editors agreed that this dealcoholized bubbly from French Bloom is a wonderful stand-in for Champagne. Made with Chardonnay grapes, Le Blanc is dealcoholized using a cold vacuum distillation, a process that involves gently heating the wines, giving the winemaker an opportunity to preserve the aromas and drastically lower the loss of wine. One editor likened it to a demi-sec Champagne, while another commented on its butter and cream notes, which complement the light citrus flavor perfectly. Plus, the packaging is glamorous to boot!
For That Person Who Wants Something Really, Really Different: Non7 Stewed Cherry and Coffee
Australian “wine alternative” company Non recently hit shelves in the United States, and their offerings are unlike anything we’ve tasted before — in a good way. Our editors couldn’t stop raving about Non7 in particular, noting flavors like pink peppercorns, nutmeg, and of course, sour cherry. If you’re looking for a traditional sparkling wine alternative, this isn’t the pick for you — instead, expect a cross between a mulled wine, iced tea, and kombucha, with some truly remarkable earthy, aromatic notes. Non7 is also lightly caffeinated, making it a perfect choice for the beginning of a big night out.
For the Tea Lover: Lili Golden Sparkler
Wine and tea people alike can get excited about California-based Lili’s Golden Sparkler, which is what happens when crisp, brightly acidic Chardonnay verjus meets floral, earthy Jasmine tea. Our team loved the notes of spearmint, strawberries, and apples, and likened it to a slightly more vegetal kombucha. With a warming golden hue, these bubbles look the part when poured into a coupe glass or added to punch, and are available in bottled or canned form.
For the Spanish Wine Fan: Studio Null Sparkling Verdejo
Studio Null’s second drop of thoughtfully crafted alcohol-free wines includes a sparkling Verdejo, made with the Rueda region’s signature grape. “When we set out to create our next offerings, we sought wines that had their own character and sense of place — and that were delicious and well-balanced before and after desalcoholization,” says Dorothy Munholland, Studio Null co-founder. Our team loved the pure pear and green apple notes in this sparkling wine alternative, as well as its crisp, dry finish.