These Are the Best Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wines—I Know Because I Tried Them All
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If you're looking for the best bottle of bubbly without the hangover, try nonalcoholic champagne or one of these other sparkling wines.
Champagne is for celebrating
What do most weddings and holiday parties have in common? The pop, fizz, and clink of the most celebratory drink: champagne. Whether you enjoy bubbly from the Champagne region of France, prosecco, or another sparkling wine, effervescent alcohol has a reputation for gracing special occasions. (Here are some alcohol-free ways to unwind.)
In September 2020, Forbes reported that U.S. champagne sales leaped more than 72 percent in mid-August. After months of lockdowns, people were itching to treat themselves to at-home luxuries.
The champagne sales surge seemed reflective of the year as a whole. Many Americans had already been drinking more alcohol than usual. The same month that Forbes reported on champagne sales, JAMA Network published a study on alcohol habits. The report indicated that 75 percent of adults in the U.S. drank at least one day more per month in 2020 than in 2019.
A shift toward sobriety
Like many other Americans, I attended my fair share of summer 2020 Zoom happy hours. After noting an uptick in my alcohol consumption, I had to ask myself, “Is alcohol good for me?”
I may be the only one asking, suggest dietitians Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, and Vanessa Rissetto, RD, Dietetic Internship Director at New York University’s Steinhardt School. They noticed a general shift toward sobriety in the last few months.
“Sure, in the beginning of quarantine, it was fun to have Zoom happy hours, etcetera—but that lost its novelty, and people really wanted to take care of their mental health,” says Rissetto. “Alcohol doesn’t seem to have a place for that.” (Beware of the effects of binge drinking.)
Reasons to try a nonalcoholic sparkling wine
There are obvious reasons to reach for a glass of alcohol-free champagne. Maybe you’re the designated driver. Maybe you’re pregnant. Maybe you’re taking one of these medications you should never mix with alcohol.
There are subtler health benefits, too. Shanta Retelny says cutting out alcohol could improve your mood and digestive health. Rissetto says it can lead to better sleep and healthy weight loss. “While alcohol has seven calories per gram, they don’t contribute to anything,” she says.
Alcohol-free beers, no-alcohol mocktails, alcohol-free spirits, and alcohol-free wines can be a great way to experience the health benefits while still enjoying your favorite flavors. You can also add alcohol-free champagne to the list.
Keep in mind that these drinks might not be a healthy choice for people struggling with alcohol addiction. Alcohol-like beverages could trigger complicated emotions or relapse. (Read former alcoholics’ lessons on overcoming addiction.)
Where to find nonalcoholic sparkling wine
If you’re interested in nonalcoholic sparkling wine, prepare to shop online. Some liquor stores might sell Fre, Sutter Home’s nonalcoholic line. Fre offers a palatable nonalcoholic sparkling rose and nonalcoholic brut, but they didn’t make my list of top picks.
Choosing the best nonalcoholic sparkling wine for you
There are many nonalcoholic sparkling wines on the market. Suppliers are scattered around the world with varying online availability and shipping times. So while I can’t claim to have sampled them all, I did seek out a variety of brands widely available in the United States.
My partner and I divided the sparkling wines into three categories: bubbly rosé, sparkling white wine (generally in line with champagne or Prosecco), and nontraditional nonalcoholic sparkling wine alternatives. We tried about a dozen and found five winners that would add some sparkle to any celebration–or evening alone at home. (This is what happens when you stop drinking alcohol.)
$14 per bottle
Pick up a bottle of Vin(Zero) Brut when you’ve got something to celebrate. This nonalcoholic wine is beautifully packaged. Gold foil wraps around the muselet—a wire cage encasing a champagne cork. You’ll get the familiar pop and a trail of bubbles climbing up your glass. Isn’t the experience what makes champagne so special?
The sparkling wine inside the bottle didn’t disappoint either. Vin(Zero) Brut is effervescent on the tongue with a slightly sweet—not cloying—finish. Will you notice the lack of alcohol? Maybe. But there’s enough going on in this bottle to keep you from missing out.
Vin(Zero) Brut has about 30 calories per four-ounce pour (a standard glass of champagne).
Vinada Sparkling Gold
$24 per bottle
Vinada Sparkling Gold had the most champagne-like bubbles of the bunch. It tastes sparkling rather than carbonated due to the preponderance of microscopic bubbles. The effervescence also lasted longer than any other sparkling wine’s carbonation once poured.
Vinada’s nonalcoholic sparkling wine is crisp, with a sweet bite at the finish. The flavor matches the sweetness and complexity of Vin(Zero) Brut. Vinada Sparking Gold has about 24 calories per four-ounce pour (a standard glass of champagne).
$17 for four 10-ounce bottles
To me, Gruvi’s Prosecco tastes the most alcoholic of the bunch—and I mean that in the best way. There’s a distinctly tart, semi-dry finish despite this nonalcoholic sparkling wine’s sweetness. The texture is not quite as crisp as Vinada’s, but there are bubbles aplenty.
Drink it from the bottle for maximum freshness. This nonalcoholic wine is also sulfate-free. Gruvi Dry Secco has about 22 calories per four-ounce pour (a standard glass of champagne).
$7 per bottle
TÖST Sparkling White Tea Cranberry & Ginger is a fun bubbly for alcohol-free gifts and celebrations. That said, it does not taste like sparkling wine. TÖST’s flavor is lightly sweet, with a hint of ginger and orange. We thought the aroma was peachy, perhaps a remnant of the beverage’s white tea base.
Though only the packaging will trick you into thinking TÖST is alcoholic, that could be a good thing. For anyone overcoming an alcohol addiction, replacing a glass of champagne with new flavors (rather than mimicking old cravings) could be the healthiest choice.
TÖST has about 22 calories per four-ounce pour (a standard glass of champagne).
Vinada Sparkling Rosé
$24 per bottle
Fans of sparkling rosé, rejoice! Vinada’s alcohol-free version manages to convincingly mimic the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of my favorite sparkling pink-hued wines.
This dealcoholized sparkling rosé follows the same process as alcoholic sparkling rosé, except for one crucial step: before bottling, the alcohol is removed, along with the alcohol’s calories. Sounds like a science experiment, tastes like a feat worth celebrating. Vinada Sparkling Rosé is crisp, sweeter than its Vinada Sparkling Gold counterpart, and completely alcohol-free.
Vinada Sparkling Rose has about 25 calories per four-ounce pour (a standard glass of champagne).
Other nonalcoholic alternatives to sparkling wine
Many manufacturers have taken the “sober-curious” trend as an opportunity to experiment with new textures and flavors. These innovative beverages deserve a place in the rotation, too. In my search for a delicious, refreshing nonalcoholic sparkling wine, I came across a few drinks that weren’t quite wine-like. But they could still match the celebratory feel and crisp sweetness.
If you’re looking for another fizzy thirst-quencher that could be served to the whole family, try DRY Sparkling Cranberry ($6 per bottle). It doesn’t taste like wine. But it’s effervescent, fruity, and delicious.
Grab a pack of Curious Elixir No. 4 ($35 for a four-pack) when you’re in the mood for something that tastes complex and adult—but without the flavor of champagne. Lightly carbonated and spiced with a hint of orange and turmeric, this beverage is a well-balanced mocktail spritzer packaged in beautiful amber bottles with hip, modern labels.
Finally, reach for Mingle’s Blood Orange Elderflower ($20 per bottle) for a sparkling citrus beverage worthy of toasting at your next celebratory dinner. The blend of blood orange and floral flavors is just as sweet as any sparkling wine, but without a hint of grape. At only 20 calories per serving, Mingle’s beverages are also a healthy option if you’re cutting alcohol to lose weight.
Next, find out if you should try Dry January and quit drinking.
- Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN, author of Total Body Diet for Dummies
- Forbes: "Who's Drinking The Champagne? U.S. Store Sales Up 73%"
- Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN, Dietetic Internship Director at New York University's Steinhardt School
- JAMA Network: "Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US"