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Three Non-Alcoholic White Wines to Try This Spring

I've thrown A LOT of wine down the drain to create this guide... hopefully you won't have to.

Non-alcoholic wines have a pretty bad rep. And for good reason - there are a lot of crappy ones out there. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. Unfortunately, I've found that the worst ones are the brands with the best distribution at most large-chain grocery stores. Which means you might have to make an extra stop at a wine and liquor store or order them online. Luckily, Amazon is starting to add much more variety to their alcohol-free products so you don't have to make an extra stop. But I'd encourage you to check out a place like Total Wine & More to peruse the aisles at least once - it's amazing and pretty fun to see just how many options there are out there.

Let me be perfectly honest... are these the perfect dupes to "real" white wines? No. That does not exist, as far as I can tell. The closest I've come are with some of the sparkling wines, and I'm not entirely sure why they taste superior, but I'm still experimenting. So when you try nonalcoholic wines know that you really can't compare apples to apples, and I suggest going in with an open mind and slightly lowered... actually, let's say altered... expectations.

These wines are lovely and I've really enjoyed sipping on them the past few months, so give them a shot. Please also leave me a comment or message with your favorites as well, I'd love to hear from you!

But first... why is non-alcoholic wine so damn expensive?

When I first started experimenting with non-alcoholic wines I was outraged at how expensive they were. I wondered if it was really worth it to pony up on a bottle without the buzz. But now I will happily pay the same amount to enjoy a nice glass of non-alcoholic wine every once in awhile. I figure what I spend avoiding booze I gain back tenfold in health benefits. I also realized that for me, it wasn't just about the buzz. I truly love and appreciate a delicious wine, and I also like to have something tasty during happy hour or at a party where everyone around me is drinking. It has really helped me stay on track drinking less.

The similarity in price is mainly because the production costs remain the same, if not more, for alcohol-removed wines. Vintners use the same initial winemaking production process as they do with regular wine. However, then production involves one additional element: the removal of the alcohol. So you're talking about all the costs of grapes, making wine, labor, and also now marketing a new alcohol-free product. That's a lot for a winery to take on.

These bottles are all around $15 a pop, which was normally what I'd spend on an average bottle. A quality non-alcoholic wine that tastes equivalent to its alcoholic counterpart must use quality ingredients and sophisticated winemaking techniques. And since I'm looking for something that tastes (almost) as good as the real stuff, the cheapskate in me has to take a back seat on this one.

Waterbrook "Clean" Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay

Personal rating: 7/10
Price: $13
Waterbrook Winery "Clean" Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay  Review
Waterbrook Winery "Clean" Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay

Waterbrook Winery is out of Washington, which is where I live, so this bottle was easy for me to find at my local wine shop. If you're out of the area you may have to order it online. It has a fresh fruit and citrus aroma, notes of Golden Delicious apple, and finishes with a whisper of oak - which has been hard to find in a non-alcoholic chardonnay. This is probably the lightest n/a wine I've tried, and only has 20 calories and 2g a sugar a glass. The finish is pretty light and less complex than I'd like, but I'll take it!

Waterbrook winery clean non-alcoholic chardonnay
Waterbrook "Clean" Chardonnay has only 2g of sugar a glass, making it the lightest n/a white wine I've tried.

Giesen Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc

Personal rating: 7.5/10
Price: $13
Giesen No-Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc out of New Zealand
Giesen No-Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc out of New Zealand

Several people recommended this one to me and I actually came across it at PCC, one of our local co-ops in Seattle. I can see why it was recommended; it has a similar tasting profile to a traditional New Zealand sauvignon blanc. With only 6g of sugar a glass, it's light and fresh and not overly sweet like many non-alcoholic wines. There's a hint of lemon and nice balance with a crisp finish.

Gieseon Non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc
Giesen Dealcoholized Sauvignon Blanc has 6g of sugar a glass, meaning it won't be overly sweet.

Be Well Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay

Personal rating: 7.0/10
Price: $16

The most expensive of all three bottles, Be Well Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay is a nice substitute when skipping the real deal. You can taste a hint of golden delicious apple and honey, and it does have a slightly oaky finish. With only 2g of sugar a glass it's not overly sweet and very comparable to the Waterbrook "Clean." It's a lovely, refreshing drink to enjoy on your patio (or in front of the tv in PJs).

Happy clean drinking this spring. Leave me a comment with some of your favorite n/a wines, I'd love to hear from you. Cheers!


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