It goes without saying that 2020 is a very different year. The holidays will be different. Alcohol consumption is already different – it’s increased over last year thanks to the pandemic. So why not end the year with different wine? Alcohol-free wine that is. I’ve been trying different brands for months and have narrowed it down to my top picks here.
Why drink alcohol-free wine?
There have been countless studies over the years that one glass of wine has varying benefits. But alcohol is also a poison. Alcohol-free wine is a great alternative to get the same benefits as wine without side effects. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, mess with medication, and, well, hangovers.
Have you ever heard that inflammation is the root of disease? Studies have shown that alcohol can contribute to inflammation. Now, inflammation is great when you sprain your ankle or a kid bumps their head. But chronic inflammation is a different story. It hangs out in the body and can damage healthy cells over time. Alcohol has been shown to contribute to inflammation. Even if you don’t drink heavily enough for alcohol to cause inflammation, you may already have chronic inflammation and that cocktail is making it worse.
Yep, I’m going there. Has your cycle been worse since the pandemic started? More painful? It is likely that alcohol is to blame. In short, your liver is the only organ that can process estrogen and alcohol (among other things). If you are making your liver process a drink or two daily, it can’t efficiently process estrogen. Estrogen can be reabsorbed into the body which can lead to excess estrogen – not good!
I’m not saying you should completely give up drinking alcohol. But maybe you’ve noticed joint pain the day after a drink a two. Or maybe you are just wanting to be healthier all around. And with the holidays and social distancing, perhaps you now are driving home instead of staying over and need to watch your intake. The great thing is there are many different alcohol-free wines to enjoy and still feel like you’re drinking with everyone else while being kinder to your body!
I’ve never really been one to describe the wines I like. I just stick to the dry reds on menus. All that to say, bare with me as I try my best to use wine connoisseur descriptive words. Yes, alcohol free wine does have a different mouthfeel than the real stuff. It is a thinner version but the taste is spot on so it’s very easy to adjust to the texture after a few sips.
Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon
If I had to name a favorite, this would be it. If Cabs are your go-to, definitely try this one! Like I said above, it is thinner than a traditional wine but the dry flavor is so good, you’ll soon forget that it’s not real after a few sips.
St Regis Reserve Cabernet
Cabs are my absolute favorite. This one tastes more fruity to me than the Ariel but it still is a good Cab to make my list!
Fre wine is made by Sutter Home. I have tried their cabernet but honestly, their merlot is where it’s at. It is so smooth that I actually prefer this over many real merlots I’ve tried over the years.
St Regis Reserve Shiraz Rose
I tried both St Regis and Fre’s roses and I keep going back to St Regis. It is like the Goldilocks of rose. Not too dry, not too sweet, just right. And so dang refreshing, you won’t even miss the alcohol.
This was a pleasant surprise! I had some doubts about this is an amazing champagne alternative! It’s the perfect balance between dry and sweet and is very crisp.
St Regis Reserve Brut
This champagne alternative was ever so slightly sweeter than Fre but it did pour a lot more like real champagne. As in, it bubbled a lot more so it took longer to pour a glass fully.
Where to buy alcohol-free wine
You can actually order alcohol-free wine online directly from the manufacturers, Amazon, Walmart, and quite a few other places. But you will often pay more. That can be worth the cost but if you have a Total Wine store near year, I highly recommend purchasing from them. They even offer contactless curbside pickup!
Cheers to the holidays!