23/06/2024

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Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers • Kath Eats

Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers • Kath Eats

A year ago I made a huge positive change toward drinking less often by swapping in NA wine and beer. Here is an updated post with my favorite nonalcoholic wines and beers (and the ones I think you can pass on ordering). This post includes affiliate links with promos attached! 

Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers

Table of Contents:

  • Why drink nonalcoholic?
  • Best NA White Wines
  • Best NA Red Wines
  • Best NA Beers
  • Best NA Alternative Drinks
  • Nonalcoholic FAQ

Nonalcoholic wine and beer is on the up and up! 

I started writing about NA wines and beers about a year ago, and there are so many great options these days! After trying SO many options, I had to update my post with my favorites.

You might have tried one during a dry January or a pregnancy or perhaps you are part of the sober curious movement that has picked up a lot of speed these last few years. There are now whole websites like Boisson that sell only nonalcoholic drinks! And even brick and mortar shops now too. And I’m seeing more and more mocktails on menus. And there are now a ton of them available at Amazon

There are seltzers with THC (yes that THC) popping up (Sipz are my favorite!) and there are new innovations like Apothekary that are wine-flavored tinctures with adaptogens (I have the Free Spirits Mini Set coming to my house to try!).

If you want to cut to the chase on the best NA wine, order yourself this Surely mixed pack of white, red, and rosé to try for yourself. These three are my favorites of them all.

I spent lots of money trying all of the main brands.

New brands were popping up faster than I could try them. I ordered most of the major NA wine brands to try: Surely, Sovi, Sip Clean. And spoiler alert: Athletic Brewing’s NA beers are so good I fell in love with them without needing to shop around for more brands. 

Here is my review of the best nonalcoholic wines and beers and why you should consider adding them to your drink fridge. 

Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers

Why drink nonalcoholic?

There are many reasons why someone would opt for a NA drink. From not drinking at all to a temporary break like Sober October, Dry January, or pregnancy, people are choosing not to consume alcohol or to consume less. 

Without alcohol you’ll likely: 
  • Sleep better (this is at the top of my list)
  • Wake up refreshed and not dehydrated
  • Consume fewer empty calories 
  • Lower stress and anxiety, which alcohol can worsen
  • Have better workout performance 
  • Have better relationships 

My Alcohol Habit

I’ve written several posts over the years about how my professional opinion on alcohol and my own personal habits don’t always align.

Here are a few of my past posts about alcohol:

My brain is to blame

If you want to know more about the science of alcohol, this podcast is a must-listen: What Alcohol Does To Your Body Brain And Health.

My friend Emily sent it to me last year, and I listened diligently knowing what I would hear. While I do think Dr. Huberman was a little biased against alcohol, there were a few key takeaways for me. Like a little is still a little. 

It’s easier to add than subtract

I’ve long preached that it’s easier to add than subtract when it comes to changing habits into healthy ones. Part of the reason I haven’t always been successful saying no to a glass of wine on a random Tuesday night at home is because I don’t have a good replacement for that ritual.

I’ve tried lots of mocktails, drank gallons of kombucha, crushed some seltzers, and worked on other ways to change my brain, such as going for a 5 p.m. walk and texting a friend who is the same boat for moral support. But with the discovery of some of these new NA wines and beers, the replacement is almost as good as the real stuff! That means the swap is so much easier. 

Cup of Nonalcoholic drink

Athletic Brewing beer was my gateway into wanting to try more NA options

Now that I have found some good ones, I look forward to them *almost* as much as I would alcohol. 

My quest for NA has always been a drink that is complex yet not sweet – just like alcohol is. These finds have been life-changing! I have successfully halved my weekly drinks from 7-10 to 2-4. And I’m calling that a HUGE win for health. 

My Review: The Best Nonalcoholic Drinks In Order Of Preference

Here are my tasting notes after tasting each NA wine, including rosé, white blend, sparkling, and reds. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that they are NOT SWEET. Most have very little added sugar. Overall, I like all of the sparkling options more than the stills, and all of the whites more than the reds. 

My ratings are based on the traditional school scale: A is great, C is lacking. 

Surely Best Nonalcoholic Wines

Best Nonalcoholic White Wines

Surely Sparking Brut (A)

So far this has been my favorite of all the NA wines I’ve tried! It’s dry, bubbly, and tastes pretty much like the canned sparkling whites I’ve tried that have alcohol. It tastes “winey” to me and the bubbles really help to confuse the palate and add some complexity to it.

I love that it comes in a can that is easy to have on a weeknight for happy hour. I was surprised to see grapefruit juice and guava concentrate on the label and thought at first it was going to taste like a fruity cocktail, but it tastes like wine! They must add these delicately for some of those fruity notes you’d find in wine. I enjoy it best in a champagne flute ; ) 

It has 25 calories per can with 5 grams of sugar, 2 are added and 3 from fruit. 

Surely Sparkling Rosé

Surely Sparkling Rosé (A)

The Surely Sparkling Rosé is right up there with the brut for being awesome! The taste is dry with a touch of the strawberry essence you’d find in a rosé. Love the bubbles too.

Only 1 gram of sugar per can and 15 calories. I bought this again too. 

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc (A)

If you love New Zealand Sauv Blanc, this will be the NA wine for you. This wine was FANTASTIC for a NA that is not sparkling! It’s tart and crisp and has all the grapefruit flavor you’d want in a NZ Sauv Blanc. I was shocked at how good it was compared to the other still wines I tried. 

I kept seeing it on all the “best of” lists. I ended up finding it at Whole Foods! It was $15 or so. They also have a rosé that was also fantastic. Giesen gets the award for the best nonalcoholic wine out there at a good price per glass but points are deducted for it being a huge bottle. I would much prefer cans or single serving to open one at a time.

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc

Sovi Sparking White (A)

I liked the Sovi Sparkling White about as much as the Surely Brut! It’s dry, crisp, and perfect for happy hour. It’s made from the Chenin Blanc grape along with added grape juice concentrate but it does not taste like juice. I liked it a lot! It has 25 calories with 3 grams of sugar. 

About Sovi: Sovi is made from certified sustainably grown grapes from the Clarksburg AVA in California about 40 miles east of Napa Valley by a husband and wife team who have worked in wine for years. 

Sovi Sparkling Rosé (A)

I found Sovi and Surely to be very similar in taste. Sovi gets the leg up for being sustainable, and Surely gets the ease of ordering from Amazon or its website, where you can buy more, save more. The Sovi Sparkling Rosé was dry and bright with a fruity nose. The Boisson website says ‘Salted watermelon!’ This one has grape juice concentrate too but it doesn’t taste like grape juice. It has 25 calories with 3 grams of sugar. 

Sovi Sparkling Rosé

Wild AF Rosé and White Blend (A)

These two wines from Wild AF are awesome! The cans are huge (360 mL), and they taste great. Each one is 50 calories and 5 grams of sugar. I also love their name – AF! Alcohol free or….! Note they have free shipping going on!

White Blend: Notes of lemon, nectarine, and Jasmine! I love that the white blend is made with 100% de-alcoholized Chardonnay and Muscat from California. 

Rose: Made from 100% Syrah Rosé with notes of Rainier cherry, cranberry, strawberry, rhubarb. It’s dry and delish! 

Surely Sauvignon Blanc (B)

I was SO EXCITED to try this one because Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite wine! Sadly it did not really taste like a true Sauv Blanc to me. That said, this Sauv Blanc was still good. It tasted a little too much on the apple/pear side of the spectrum. I wanted more of a New Zealand grapefruit essence (it IS made with a touch of grapefruit juice). It was dry and crisp. 50 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving. 

If it came in cans I would probably buy some for when I am not in the mood for bubbles. But since it’s only in a big bottle and I’m not really going to drink much per night, it’s not in my top tier. 

Surely Sauvignon Blanc | Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers

Sip Clean Rosé (B)

Here is a STILL rosé in a can!! These are big cans too – 12 ounces. Sip Clean Rosé is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Wahluke Slope AVA in Grant County, Washington. 40 calories and 3 grams of sugar. 

I really wanted this to be “the one” that I fell in love with, but unfortunately it just wasn’t amazing. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. My brain knew it wasn’t wine. I think this and the white below were just a little too sour for me. They are described as high acidity with a tart finish. That said, if you don’t like bubbles, you should give Sip Clean a try! 

Sip Clean White Blend (B)

Love that this is a still white in a can (the only one I can find). Unfortunately, it tastes a lot like an unsweetened apple juice. Quite sour and a bit tart. Definitely not sweet at all, which is a huge plus, but just not that much like wine. I can see why they put bubbles in everything. If this was a wine, I can’t decide what it would be. I’m thinking in an unoaked Chardonnay. 40 calories and 3 grams of sugar. 

Sip Clean Rosé | Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers


3. Best NA Red Wines

Surely Bubbly Red | Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers

Surely Bubbly Red (A)

This is new-ish, and I placed an ordered immediately when it released. There are a lot more NA whites out there because the reds are much harder to make taste authentic. Surely solved this problem by adding bubbles. I’m telling you bubbles are the key to a NA wine feeling like it has some of the zest that alcohol brings. So they are thinking on the right track. 

While I would not say that this Bubbly Red is anywhere comparable to a complex glass of real red wine, if you tend to like reds more than whites, you will probably find this suits your fancy well! I liked it (and I didn’t like many of the other reds I tried – see below). I’ve bought this multiple times now. 

A light and fruit forward blend of alcohol-removed Cabernet & Pinot Noir with fun effervescence, dark cherry notes and a nice dry finish.

Surely Red Blend (A)

This is the best still NA red out there. It’s new! My review is that it’s VERY smoky, medium-level fruity (sweet, but just a little), and it was awesome to have the bottle open to sip on all week with dinners! I actually preferred it chilled, which is odd, but it tasted the best that way to me! While 4 cans is the same price as a bottle, I really wish this came in cans. (Maybe soon?) It would be great for a holiday table if you have sober friends joining. 

Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon (B)

When I was researching for this post, I read a lot of “the best nonalcoholic wines” lists to see if there were any big players I missed. This wine was on ALL the red lists! It’s also in a lot of the NA bundles out there. They also claim it’s “the only dealco wine to win a gold medal against wines with alcohol.” (I find this interesting because I tried their Chardonnay during my pregnancy and HATED it. Also, Ariel needs a re-branding…)

So what did I think? It was SWEET. But not in a grape juice way, more in a fruity/jammy wine way. This makes sense because it had 10 grams of sugar and 52 calories per serving, and you can taste the sweetness. But I still kind of liked it. I thought this one had the most wine-forward taste of the three I tried, which I find so interesting given the sweetness. You also can’t beat that price point. 

Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

Sovi Red Blend (B)

So far this is the only still red in a can I have found! I wanted this to be a juicy, fruit-forward red wine. Unfortunately, this red wine tastes a little too much like grape juice too! It was just a little too light for me, and the aftertaste just didn’t have much wine-ness to it. I liked the Sovi whites a lot more. 25 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving. 

Sovi Red Blend | Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers

Interestingly, Thomas couldn’t stand any of these reds, so they were not fooling him.


4. Best Nonalcoholic Beers

I haven’t tried a lot of different beer brands because I am HOOKED on Athletic Brewing!! These beers are SO good and taste SO real to me I will rarely ever have a real beer at home anymore.

I’ve also been seeing them out and about more and more – at our pool, at a beer hall in Cville, so cool! They also rotate through so many flavors that I haven’t had a chance to try them all. Their branding is so on point. 

Get 10% off your first order with my links

Cerveza Athletica

Cerveza Athletica (A+)

Hands down my favorite, this beer tastes just like a Dos Equis to me! Add a lime and my palate couldn’t tell the difference. This is my favorite one to crush after a soccer game!

Run Wild IPA (A)

This IPA is crisp and hoppy with the perfect amount of bitterness. I love it! It tastes 100% like a real IPA to me. 

Free Wave Hazy IPA (A)

If you like hazy beers, you’ll like this. It has a bit more malt than the Run Wild, so I tend to like Run Wild a bit more. This was also the first Athletic Brewing beer I tried! We did a blind taste test at the beach, and while most people could tell the difference between the real and the NA, most of the guys who tried it gave it a thumbs up. 

Upside Dawn (B)

I really like this golden too! It’s a good one for summertime – very refreshing. Since it’s lighter and maltier, it tastes a bit less “real” to me so it doesn’t get a true A!

I’ve also tried the Lodge Life, Dark and Gourdy and All Out stouts. I am not a stout person, but I thought they were very good. Lodge Life was my favorite.

Run Wild IPA  


5. Best Alternative NA Drinks

There are a lot of cool NA drinks that are not exactly in the wine or beer category. Here are some we like!

Avallon drink fridge

Sipz THC Drinks (A)

Yes, you read that right THC! The THC is derived from hemp, so it is legal to ship and consume. Unlike alcohol, I think I actually sleep better on the nights I have one of these!  I know everyone’s burning question is “do you get high?” Yes you do, but not in a crazy way. These drinks have 2 mg each of CBD and THC so you do get a slight buzz. I would liken it to one glass of wine or one beer. It’s nothing crazy. If you’re nervous about it, have half a can first. I have a super low tolerance for anything (alcohol included) and 2 mg is perfect for me to “feel it but just a touch.” The grapefruit is my favorite flavor, but get the variety pack! Use my link and the code SAVE35 for 35% off!

Trail Magic (A)

Trail Magic is another THC drink company I discovered via friends on Instagram. Also made from the Delta-9 THC, these are similar to Sipz but YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED that they are higher doses of THC! I can’t handle the 5 mg cans (too strong!) and even the 3 mg is a little more than I would like on a regular night. They are totally delicious though! Sometimes I just leave a few sips left in my can or give them to T. 

Brez

Brez taste more like a cocktail and I like them, but the cans are so tiny I can drink it in 10 minutes! I’d like my drink to last longer (they have bigger cans, but those are 5 mg and see above – can’t handle).

Monday Mezcal

I ordered this Mezcal last year and really enjoyed it during the summer. I got the Paloma kit and it came with a grapefruit mixer that i loved. I will admit, however, that once the mixer was gone I stopped loving the mezcal. It wasn’t as good without it and I was too lazy to make my own. They make whiskey and gin and cocktail kits too. 

Free AF Tasting Pack (TBD)

Cocktails in a can are popping up more and more in both the alcoholic and NA worlds. While I haven’t tried these, they are an Amazon Best Choice. 

Hop Water (B)

I can get down with some hop water! In my opinion this is more a daytime drink when you’re at the beach or pool and less of a “it’s happy hour let me crack something open” but I had to mention for all the light beer lovers who love hops!

Apothekary (TBD)

This company is new to me and I haven’t tried it yet, but I ordered the Free Spirits Set. They are alcohol alternative tinctures made with herbal blends that relax you and taste like wine. Mix them into sparkling water or make a still martini. They have rosé flavor, red wine, and even bitters. I can’t wait to try! 

Nowadays (TBD)

This THC spirit is on the way to my house. I like that it’s low dose and you can mix it into any type of mocktail you like – margaritas, martinis, etc. I’m super excited to try it. 


6. Nonalcoholic FAQ

How are alcohol-free wines made? 

It’s not just plain grape juice, y’all! Instead of making something that tastes like wine, they are using actual wine and remove the alcohol. 

Modern technology has allowed manufacturers to take out the alcohol from beers and wines without compromising on taste. This dealcoholization process separates the alcohol contents from the wine leaving behind some of the aromatics that you’d recognize from your favorite varietals. You’re left with alcohol-removed wine.

Most of the companies start with grapes from popular wine regions in the country. Then, as usual, the grapes are fermented into wine. The fermentation process is what turns grape juice into the complex and sophisticated beverage we all love.

After making a traditional wine, there are a few different ways to remove the alcohol. 

How much alcohol is in nonalcoholic wines and beers?

The dealcoholized wine ends up under 0.5% ABV, the universally accepted limit for non-alcoholic beverages. So while there is a touch of alcohol that remains, it is negligible. 

This amount of alcohol is similar to what you find in fresh-pressed juice or kombucha that has residual naturally occurring fermentation.

How are the wines bottled?

I love that so many companies are putting alcohol-free wine in CANS because most people who aren’t drinking alcohol aren’t going to drink a whole bottle! That fact in itself kind of tells you how addicting wine can be once you get started drinking it. A whole bottle is a lot!

So I’ve found that the cans are most convenient to buy and serve as a perfect portion control too.  

Want to read my review of the best canned alcoholic wines? Read this: The Best Canned Wines. 

Are they really that light in calories?

YES and this is a huge plus for me. Alcohol calories are empty calories, meaning there is no nutrition that comes with them. But when the alcohol is removed, so are its calories. The calories that remain come from a small bit of added sugar – a few grams at most.

Most of the wines are 15-40 calories depending on how big the can/serving is. That’s a nice drop from 125-150 for a glass of traditional wine. 

The beers are a bit more, but they’re still half of what a regular beer is. They range from 45-70 calories per can. 

What are the downsides? 

The cost is definitely a downside. Choosing to drink water would be a much better way to “not drink.” However, I have reasoned that if having a NA can of wine or beer means I’m more easily making a healthier choice, I am all for it – at least in this season of life. 

Where can you buy nonalcoholic wine and beer? 

It depends on the brand, but most of them have the best deals directly from their websites, often with a first-time buyer promo code. Get 10% off your first order at Athletic Brewing. Surely offers 20% savings when you buy a certain amount, which is what I’ve been doing, and 25% off when you subscribe and save, so I might be doing that once I figure out a number of cans I might have on a regular basis. Partner up with a friend to place a big order so you can save the most. 

I’ve been seeing them NA options and more in stores like Whole Foods and Wegmans. Athletic Brewing is in those, although you’ll mainly find the best sellers.

Have you tried nonalcoholic drinks? If so, please share your best and worsts!