The 8 Best Nonalcoholic Wines of 2023
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The 8 Best Nonalcoholic Wines of 2023

Jan 25, 2024

After tasting 10 more bottles, we added three new picks: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling, Proxies Blanc Slate, and Thomson & Scott Noughty Dealcoholized Rouge.

There are plenty of reasons why people drink nonalcoholic wines. What led me to seek them out was my pregnancy—and my desperation to drink something other than soda for nine straight months. But this guide is meant to help anyone who's looking for something special to drink that's nonalcoholic, whether you’re sober, tonight's designated driver, a host looking for nonalcoholic options for your guests, or just someone hoping to avoid a hangover.

After considering nearly 80 bottles for testing and sampling more than 20, we landed on eight that are satisfyingly complex and special enough to sip and savor when you’re celebrating or just enjoying some time alone. (By the way, if you’re seeking a nonalcoholic drink that isn't wine, we have recommendations for those, too.)

One of the many things we learned about nonalcoholic wines is that shopping for them can be tricky. The category is full of jargon, and it's inconsistent when it comes to labeling. In this guide, we do our best to demystify terms such as "dealcoholized wine" and "wine alternative." We also address the amount of alcohol you might find in a bottle—yes, there's alcohol in some nonalcoholic wines! And we tell you what to look for in a great one. If we missed any of your favorites, leave us a note in the comments section.

This guide is for anyone avoiding alcohol for any reason—whether you practice a religion that prohibits alcohol, are sober, pregnant, the designated driver, or simply looking to dodge a hangover—but would still like to enjoy a glass of something special. It's also for hosts who’d like to offer an interesting option to their alcohol-avoiding guests. We recommend dealcoholized wines (which aim to replicate the taste, look, and feel of conventional wine, without the buzz) and wine alternatives (which, through appearance, texture, and flavor, create a complex drink worth swirling in a glass and savoring).

An important note: Many companies whose nonalcoholic wines or wine alternatives have 0.5% alcohol content recommend that you check with your doctor if you have a condition that would prevent you from consuming even trace amounts of alcohol. For transparency's sake, in this guide we list the ingredients in each pick, as well as the alcohol content and the process with which it's made.

You’ll find two types of drinks in this category: nonalcoholic wines and wine alternatives. Nonalcoholic wines start out as regular, alcoholic wines, and then the alcohol is removed. Wine alternatives simply try to replicate the taste and experience of wine by using other ingredients.

Nonalcoholic wines go through one of several processes to reduce the alcohol content to either less than 0.5% alcohol or 0.0% alcohol (more on that below). Nonalcoholic wines more closely resemble the flavors and textures you’d expect to get from a traditional bottle of wine. But how closely they come varies greatly among winemakers, depending on factors such as the grape varietals, the methods of fermentation used to make the wine, and possibly the dealcoholization process a winemaker uses.

Dealcoholizing wine always takes away some character and nuance in the process. As a 2021 review of dealcoholization methods published in the food science journal Foods notes, any method "can cause changes in color and losses of desirable volatile aroma compounds, which can subsequently affect the sensory quality and acceptability of the wine by consumers." In other words, alcohol is not the only thing that's removed in the process, and some of what's missing can affect your enjoyment of the drink. Sugar or other additives are sometimes added to nonalcoholic wine to make up for that lost flavor.

For wine lovers seeking a great nonalcoholic wine, the potential absence of nuance can pose a barrier to finding a great bottle. "Good wine is very much a naturally made substance," said New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov. "It's the process of fermentation and fermenting grapes that come from a place, with as little technological manipulation as possible. Taking the alcohol out is a tremendous technological process … A lot of the attraction of wine is lost in that." But don't let that scare you away from trying nonalcoholic wines—we’ve still been able to find enjoyable dealcoholized options.

Wine alternatives, on the other hand, aim to replicate the taste, texture, and sensation of drinking wine by using ingredients that aren't necessarily grapes, such as kombucha, tea, or vinegar. They do not undergo a process of dealcoholization (though some do contain minuscule amounts of alcohol). Wine alternatives don't share wine's DNA, but they do use techniques to attempt to create an experience that is analogous to drinking wine. In this guide, we tried both dealcoholized wines and wine alternatives.

Nonalcoholic wine goes under a few different names. The Food and Drug Administration has guidelines on how these labels should be applied, and it specifies that the "FDA does not consider the terms ‘nonalcoholic’ and ‘alcohol-free’ to be synonymous." The terms "alcohol removed" and "dealcoholized" refer to wines that went through a dealcoholization process. These monikers, along with "nonalcoholic," can also signal that the wines have 0.5% alcohol or less. Phrases like "zero alcohol" and "alcohol-free" should be used only on bottles that contain 0.0% alcohol (more on alcohol content below).

In this guide, we use the term dealcoholized for wine that had the alcohol removed. And we use the term wine alternative to describe nonalcoholic wines that did not go through these processes and that usually don't have the typical ingredients you’d find in a bottle of wine.

Of course, people have varying preferences, based on their palates and expectations of what a wine should be. However, after scouring reviews of nonalcoholic wines on BevMo and Total Wine, we couldn't help but notice an overwhelmingly large number of scathing reviews referencing thin or overly sweet flavors. Still, good nonalcoholic wines are out there. "Very serious wine makers have tackled this and have made great strides in terms of making something tasty and nonalcoholic," Asimov said. Ultimately, to find the ideal bottle of nonalcoholic wine or an enjoyable wine alternative, you’ll need to navigate ingredients, alcohol content, flavor, and style. The experts we spoke with offered insight into what to expect.

Like a regular wine, a good nonalcoholic wine should have a layered flavor profile that's also balanced. Still nonalcoholic wines in particular—especially reds—seem to have the hardest time retaining their complexities after dealcoholization. "It is really hard to nail that experience with the body and tannins and the flavor," said Jillian Barkley, owner and founder of Soft Spirits, a nonalcoholic wine and spirits shop in Los Angeles. Whites, rosés, and sparkling wines all fared better in our tests. "I think sparkling versions take some of the sting out of losing the complexity and natural interest," Asimov said. "Sparkling has more texture, more tactile interest than a flat wine that's gone through this process."

Wine alternatives approximate a wine-like experience using ingredients other than grapes. Most of the ones we tried for this guide had varying levels of sparkle, were kombucha- or tea-based, and were usually fermented. Successful examples of wine alternatives can replicate the feel of tannins on the palate, that nice mouth pucker you get from regular wine, and the waves of flavor that require slow sipping and appreciation. These bottles can have a vast roster of eclectic ingredients, ranging from beets to coffee to mushrooms. So the best approach may be to start by choosing bottles that have a base you like. For example, kombucha fans may enjoy ones with kombucha bases, whereas fans of drinking vinegar should look for that ingredient on the label. "If I’m going to drink something nonalcoholic, I would rather have something beautifully put together from ingredients that are not going to go through a process of creating alcohol," Asimov said.

If you shop for wine with food in mind, dealcoholized wines are a more obvious one-for-one swap with regular wines—so food that pairs well with a regular chardonnay should also pair well with a nonalcoholic one. But that doesn't mean the alternatives don't have something to offer too. Though they often have strong bases of tea, kombucha, or vinegar, and they don't have the same flavor profiles as dealcoholized wines made from grapes, they can still create fun food pairings. For each of our recommended bottles, we’ve suggested dishes you might enjoy them with.

A convincing sparkling white decoy: Thomson & Scott Noughty Dealcoholized Sparkling Chardonnay (about $25 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)

Alcohol level: 0.0%

Type: dealcoholized wine

Why we like it: Our testers were impressed by how much the Noughty Dealcoholized Sparkling Chardonnay looked and tasted like an actual sparkling white. One panelist said they would "hand it to anyone who's looking for something like a prosecco that's dry and crisp," and another commented on how it "approximates the dryness of wine." Its small bubbles and beautiful straw color made us think of Champagne (or cava, since the wine is made from organic chardonnay grapes grown in southern Spain). Another panelist noted the Noughty bottle's brightness, lightweight fizz, and a faint aroma of apple. For our pregnant taster (me!), the fruity, tart profile immediately evoked memories of a wine tasting at a California vineyard.

What we’d pair it with: Our panelists liked how the Noughty Dealcoholized Sparkling Chardonnay lit up when sipped with creamy cheeses and how it picked up the herbal nuances of the rosemary almonds. Try complementing it with other rich foods, such as cream sauces or fried chicken.

Ingredients: alcohol-free organic chardonnay, organic sugar, carbon dioxide, preservative (sulfur dioxide)

For pet-nat lovers: Unified Ferments Qi Dan (about $25 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)

Alcohol level: less than 0.5%

Type: wine alternative (fermented)

Why we like it: It's hard to classify the Unified Ferments Qi Dan. The cloudy appearance and funky flavor reminded our panelists of natural wines, particularly orange wine and pétillant naturel (French for "natural sparkling"), a rustic style of bubbly that's bottled before it has finished fermenting, without added sugars. The company recommends drinking this bottle at a chilled red wine temperature. But we found this drink's body and flavors to be much closer to a cross between a sparkling white and a kombucha than to a glass of red. The kombucha base, which has trace amounts of alcohol and caffeine, is brewed from Qi Dan oolong tea, whose distinctive floral notes were immediately picked up by our tasters. Because of the tea, the drink also had a tannic aspect that we didn't detect in any of the other sparkling bottles. One panelist commented on this bottle's "lovely, clean taste," adding that it was "refreshing, with a nice tea flavor."

What we’d pair it with: Our tasters noted that the Qi Dan's tannins complemented the richer foods we tasted it with, such as nuts and cheese. Because of this bottle's pronounced oolong tea flavor, one panelist recommended matching it with Chinese food.

Ingredients: sparkling water, sugar, kombucha starter, Qi Dan tea

A crisp and fruity white: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling ($18 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)Alcohol level: 0.0%Type: dealcoholized wine

Why we like it: The Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling is a good choice if you’re seeking a balanced, medium-bodied white that's fresh and fruity, and you don't mind a bit of sweetness. When first poured, the lively German dealcoholized wine had a light sparkle to it and a zing on the tongue, but that carbonation faded quickly. In the scent and on the palate, we picked up orchard fruit, including green apples and dried pears—flavors that brought out the inherent nuttiness in hard cheeses and cured meats. (A panelist also noticed an off-note plastic in the aroma and flavor, but it faded as she drank.)

If you prefer a white that's lighter-bodied and less sweet, consider the Surely Sauvignon Blanc. Our panel found it lacking in complexity compared with the Leitz Riesling, and it didn't go well with as many foods. But it's a reliable alternative if you’re looking for an easy-drinking, straightforward wine.

What we’d pair it with: We enjoyed this bottle with cheese (especially Gruyère) and cured meat. It also paired well with dried fruit—one panelist noted a "lively synergy." Leitz recommends drinking the riesling with spicy, boldly flavored dishes, such as Thai curry.

Ingredients: dealcoholized wine, grape must, rectified concentrate grape must, sucrose

A tangy twist on white wine: Proxies Blanc Slate ($150 for six 750-mL bottles at the time of publication)Alcohol level: less than 0.5%Type: wine alternative

Why we like it: This complex wine alternative is among the most "wine-like" we’ve tasted. The medium-bodied wine leads with a floral aroma, followed by ripe, tart notes of apricot, kiwi, and white grape, and an underlying bitterness of grapefruit rind (thanks to the grapefruit vinegar). There's also a tannic finish, likely due to the inclusion of a white tea blend. Though the Blanc Slate has the signature tang that we’ve come to love in other Proxies, it also has a saline kick that primes the palate for the next sip.

We enjoy the assertive, citrusy profile, but prior to going for the Blanc Slate, you should definitely consider whether you enjoy a vinegar-forward drink. (A good gauge could be whether you’d call yourself a kombucha fan.) If it is up your alley, though, you may find yourself branching out into other Proxies, too.

What we’d pair it with: We thought Blanc Slate paired best with briny olives and salty meats and nuts, which complemented and heightened the flavors in the wine. But it didn't pair as well with cheese or fruit. Proxies recommends drinking this bottle with Thai takeout, like satays and peanut-topped noodle dishes.

Ingredients: filtered water, sauvignon blanc grapes, verjus, kiwi concentrate, white wine concentrate, apricot concentrate, grapefruit vinegar (grapefruit concentrate, vinegar), fermented lemongrass, vegetable glycerin, tea blend (silver needle, white peony), aromatic extract blend (galangal, makrut lime, habanero), sea salt, tartaric acid, lemon powder, sulfites

A natural wine replacement: Unified Ferments Snow Chrysanthemum (about $25 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)

Alcohol level: less than 0.5%

Type: wine alternative (fermented)

Why we like it: Unified Ferments Snow Chrysanthemum is a wine alternative made from a fermented base of kombucha brewed with honey and snow chrysanthemum flowers (a robust varietal grown in the Kunlun Mountains of northern China). The unfiltered drink has a beautiful blush color and the slightest bit of fizz ("tickles," wrote one taster), and it delivers on a complex range of flavors. Its texture was smoother and a touch less bubbly than that of the Qi Dan, even though both bottles are from Unified Ferments. This one is sweet and floral, with an almost savory finish that kept our tasters coming back for more. Multiple panelists noted the taste of peach and a lively tang, while others commented on honey and pollen-like flavors. The Snow Chrysanthemum bottle reminded our panelists of a natural wine, an analog to an orange wine or a barely bubbly pet-nat. This is another good option for those who enjoy these wine styles or are seeking unique flavors.

What we’d pair it with: Our panelists enjoyed this drink with cheese and nuts, but it brought out bitterness in cured meat. Unified Ferments likens the Snow Chrysanthemum to orange or skin contact wine, and it recommends pairing it with dim sum, carnitas, or any rich food that can benefit from some acid.

Ingredients: filtered water, honey, kombucha starter, snow chrysanthemum flowers

An easy-to-drink rosé replica: Thomson & Scott Noughty Dealcoholized Sparkling Rosé (about $25 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)

Alcohol level: 0.0%

Type: dealcoholized wine

Why we like it: The Noughty Dealcoholized Sparkling Rosé has the mouth-puckering tartness and lightweight mouthfeel that we associate with a refreshing glass of bubbly rosé. And our panelists thought that, of those we tried, this one was the closest to the real deal. Made with organic tempranillo grapes from southern Spain, this bottle has small bubbles and a toasty scent. But its dry tang is what made it a favorite compared with the sweeter bottles we tasted, and it primed our palates for the next sip. (If you prefer a sweeter option, see the Competition section.)

One panelist described the Noughty rosé as "a true wine swap." It's an easy-drinking sparkling option—a great choice for a picnic or brunch. When sealed properly, it stayed effervescent in the bottle for a few days. However, once this was poured, the bubbles dissipated quickly compared with other sparkling NA wines like NON or Leitz.

What we’d pair it with: The Noughty rosé was a natural match for the creamy cheeses and cured meats we snacked on during our tasting. So it's a great option to serve alongside a charcuterie platter or during an aperitivo hour. We’d also recommend sipping it on its own for a celebratory toast.

Ingredients: dealcoholized organic tempranillo, organic sugar, carbon dioxide, preservative (sulfur dioxide)

A tart pink drink: Proxies Zephyr (about $100 for four 750-mL bottles at the time of publication)

Alcohol level: less than 0.5%

Type: wine alternative (fermented)

Why we like it: In appearance, the Proxies Zephyr is a dead ringer for a deep-pink—bordering on cranberry-colored—rosé wine. At first sip, though, it shocked our panel with its punchy tang, thanks to the vinegar base. (Acid League, the creator of Proxies, started out making raw vinegars before expanding into wine alternatives; verjus and rhubarb vinegar are both ingredients in the Zephyr.) Rhubarb and sauvignon blanc grape juices offer a light fruitiness that rounds out the sharpness. Although this is an acquired taste, the Zephyr's balance of powerful and fresh flavors ultimately appealed to our testers, who found themselves returning to it again and again.

The Proxies Zephyr is a good choice for someone with an adventurous palate who is seeking something unexpected, maybe even challenging, as opposed to a rosé replica. Because this one is so strong, some panelists mixed the Zephyr with seltzer to make a spritzer, and they enjoyed how it mellowed into something more suitable for casual sipping.

If you’re not enticed by the intense, vinegar-forward Zephyr, Proxies also has a milder rosé option, Pink Salt. It has mellow fruity notes and is more refreshing than the Zephyr, though it's short on complexity.

What we’d pair it with: Our panelists liked how rich foods, such as creamy cheese, tempered this drink's sharp tang. The Zephyr didn't fare as well with briny snacks like olives. Proxies recommends pairing this one with seafood and pesto pastas.

Ingredients: water, sauvignon blanc juice, rhubarb juice, verjus, lemon juice, apple concentrate, strawberry concentrate, peppercorn bitters (pink peppercorn, sichuan peppercorn, and vegetable glycerin), rhubarb vinegar (rhubarb juice, vinegar), sea salt, tartaric acid, organic imperial Yunnan silver needle tea, dried hibiscus, lemon verbena, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sulfites

The closest thing to red wine: Thomson & Scott Noughty Dealcoholized Rouge ($25 for a 750-mL bottle at the time of publication)Alcohol level: less than 0.5%Type: dealcoholized wine

Why we like it: Nonalcoholic reds are especially tricky to get right. Our panel found this to be true after tasting several dealcoholized reds and red wine alternatives, but we agreed that the Thomson & Scott Noughty Dealcoholized Rouge came the closest in flavor. This one looks and smells like a red, too, with a deep burgundy color in the glass and a fruity, vanilla aroma.

The Rouge, made from South African syrah grapes, is a medium-bodied red with a smooth mouthfeel, followed by prominent tannins. Our panelists found that it tasted earthy with a touch of sweetness, but the flavor dropped off quickly, and the Rouge lacked the richness or acidity to give a lasting impression on the palate. Overall, it was still a fairly balanced wine. We were impressed with how close it came to the real deal and agreed that we’d happily offer it to guests.

If you’re interested in exploring heavier or more aggressively flavored reds, Proxies Red Clay and Red Ember are both rich, cooked-fruit–forward wine alternatives. And the NON7 is a spiced concoction that reminded us of mulled wine. These didn't end up being picks because they lacked the balance and food-friendliness of the Rouge, but you may find them interesting.

What we’d pair it with: The Rouge paired especially well with meat, and we’d pair this with red meats or grilled vegetable dishes. We thought it fell a bit flat against most cheeses, though, so we’d skip it for cheesy dishes or cheese boards.

Ingredients: dealcoholized syrah wine, organic sugar, sulfur dioxide

Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Rosé (0.0% alcohol; dealcoholized wine): This dealcoholized sparkling rosé was sweet and full-bodied compared with the drier, lighter Noughty pick. More than one of our tasters described this one as "cloying." It also lost its bubbles pretty quickly. But if you prefer your sparkling wines on the sweeter side, this might be the bottle for you. It's also available in cans.

NON1 Salted Raspberry & Chamomile (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): Our panelists picked up the scent of the raspberries and chamomile tea in this rosé alternative. The flavor of the drink was less defined than the aroma, and it was quite sweet—one of our panelists described it as tasting like "raspberry candy." Someone looking for a sweeter rosé alternative might like this one, but our panelists preferred the more balanced Proxies Zephyr.

NON3 Toasted Cinnamon & Yuzu (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): Our panelists liked the flavor of this citrus-forward beverage, but they ultimately found it to be more like juice than like a wine alternative. (Also, it was billed as sparkling, but our bottle was actually bubble-free.) The cloudy, pale yellow drink tasted predominantly of yuzu, lemon, and orange rinds, like a complex lemonade. It was easy to drink, but it didn't hold up to food as well as our picks did.

NON4 Roast Beetroot & Sansho (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): Our panel enjoyed the adventure in savory flavor offered by the NON4 bottle. The aroma reminded panelists of borscht and vinegary boquerones, while the flavor had the unmistakable umami taste of soy sauce and beets. Prickly warmth from sansho pepper called to mind the bite of alcohol. Sounds odd? It was—but our panelists genuinely enjoyed this uniqueness. The NON4 was originally a pick for our red category, but it ceased to be available between testing and publication.

NON7 Stewed Cherry & Coffee (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): NON7 combines cherries, coffee, and a myriad of seasonings (such as garam masala, nutmeg, and pink peppercorn), with questionable results. Our panelists found the spices to be overpowering; one described the flavors as "muddy and musty, like a spice drawer." NON7 could be a fun seasonal alternative to mulled wine, but it seemed like a stretch as an everyday sipper.

Proxies Pink Salt (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): Pink Salt is a refreshing rosé alternative, with gentle fruity notes that one panelist likened to cran-raspberry juice and another found to be similar to pomegranate, neither of which is in the ingredients list (an indication of how vague the flavors are). It was fine to drink, but it fell flat compared with the punchier, more complex Zephyr. If you’re looking for a mellower rosé, this could be it. But note that it's only sold as a six-pack online, as are Red Clay and Red Ember.

Proxies Red Clay (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): This is a full-bodied red, with prominent notes of blueberries and cooked cherries. It's not tart or vinegary like our favorite Proxies bottles, so this could be a plus or a minus in your book. It was fine for casual sipping but too one-note to be a pick, and it didn't pair as well with food as the Noughty Rouge.

Proxies Red Ember (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): This bottle was quite similar to Proxies Red Clay. It tasted prominently of cooked fruit, with more of an elderberry flavor and slightly more acidity. We still found it jammy and overly rich, and it didn't do much for the food we paired it with, either.

Studio Null: This dealcoholized-wine maker's Blanc Burgunder and Prickly Red were previous picks, but they sold out quickly, since all of Studio Null's releases are limited runs. We haven't tasted Studio Null's current offerings because our guide is focused on bottles that are consistently available. But if they sound interesting to you, they may be worth trying.

Surely Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc (less than 0.5% alcohol; dealcoholized wine): Surely's dealcoholized sauvignon blanc grew on our tasting panelists. At first they described the light-bodied wine as "weak." But as it warmed up, the fruity notes and acidity became more apparent. One taster said they would potentially get this as a backup option if they wanted something close to a white wine and couldn't find our other picks.

There are two alcohol levels you’ll usually find in wines that are marketed as nonalcoholic: less than 0.5% alcohol content by volume and 0.0%. If a wine has less than 0.5% alcohol, it qualifies as nonalcoholic; to be called "alcohol-free," it must have 0.0% alcohol, according to the FDA.

Don't be alarmed that some drinks labeled nonalcoholic contain tiny amounts of alcohol. This is actually true of many types of food and drink. Even soda and fruit juice sometimes have small amounts of alcohol in them, according to the FDA. And this is also the case for a variety of fermented drinks, including kombucha, which is a popular base for wine alternatives. Plenty of foods have trace percentages of alcohol in them, too, like bananas and even bread products, according to a 2016 study by the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. To provide context, 0.5% alcohol by volume is a very small amount: Unified Ferments says you’d need to drink over five 750-mL bottles of its product in an hour to equal the alcohol in a single can of Budweiser. But this is still worth taking into account if you are in recovery or can't consume alcohol for other reasons.

In our research, we found there are both dealcoholized wines and wine alternatives with 0.0% and 0.5% alcohol content. So choosing one or the other isn't a guarantee of getting a bottle with zero alcohol. If alcohol content is a concern for you, be sure to check the label for the exact percentage. Online nonalcoholic beverage shops like Better Rhodes and Boisson usually include the alcoholic content of the bottles they sell or have images of the labels.

Although nonalcoholic wine is a relatively new category, there's a dizzying array of options available online and in retail stores. We spoke with three experts to learn more about the product: Eric Asimov, wine critic at The New York Times, who wrote Does Wine Lose Its Spirit When the Alcohol Is Removed?; Jillian Barkley, owner and founder of Soft Spirits, a nonalcoholic wine and spirits shop in Los Angeles; and Aqxyl Storms, co-founder of Minus Moonshine, a purveyor of nonalcoholic drinks in Brooklyn, New York. We discussed what someone should seek in a nonalcoholic wine, as well as which makers stood out for their processes and ingredients. The makers and wines that Barkley and Storms recommended to us include ones they carry or have previously sold, but we independently vetted all of our picks. We narrowed our list of bottles to try based on their recommendations.

The nonalcoholic wines we tasted met the following criteria:

With all of that in mind, we tasted bottles from the following brands for our first tasting: Leitz, NON, Proxies (previously known as Acid League Proxies), Studio Null, Surely, Thomas & Scott Noughty, and Unified Ferments. We chose a total of 14 bottles from the core offerings at the time of tasting, in spring 2022. Our tasting panel included kitchen editor Gabriella Gershenson, Wirecutter contributor Winnie Yang, Aqxyl Storms of Minus Moonshine, and me.

In winter 2023, we conducted a smaller tasting to replace picks that had been discontinued. Along with Gabriella and senior editor Marguerite Preston, I tasted a total of 10 bottles from Leitz, NON, Proxies, and Surely.

For both sessions, we tasted the bottles in four rounds: sparkling rosé and still rosé, sparkling white and still white, and sparkling red and still red. Not all of the wines we tried fit perfectly into these categories, but we did our best to group them appropriately. In each round, we started with the wine alternatives, which tended to have less familiar, more unconventional flavors, and we ended with the grape-based dealcoholized wines. Using a tasting rubric that we created with input from Jillian Barkley of Soft Spirits, we evaluated each drink with the following qualities in mind:

When tasting, we looked for balanced NA wines that offered complex and compelling flavors. We tasted each drink alone and then with food, and between rounds we cleansed our palates with water and crackers. For the dealcoholized wines, we took into account how they compared to the wines they were derived from. For wine alternatives, we looked for an interesting beverage that was analogous to wine in its nuances and sensations, as opposed to a replica of it.

This article was edited by Gabriella Gershenson and Marguerite Preston.

Eric Asimov, wine critic at The New York Times, phone interview, April 19, 2022

Jillian Barkley, owner and founder of Soft Spirits, phone interview, April 21, 2022

Aqxyl Storms, co-founder of Minus Moonshine, Zoom interview, April 26, 2022

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dealcoholized Wine and Malt Beverages - Labeling, November 29, 2005

The Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Estimates of Ethanol Exposure in Children from Food not Labeled as Alcohol-Containing, September 2016

Foods, Techniques for Dealcoholization of Wines: Their Impact on Wine Phenolic Composition, Volatile Composition, and Sensory Characteristics, October 2021

Pierre Zero, The objective: de-alcoholization and preservation of flavour

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, A Reverse Osmosis for the Production of Low Ethanol Content Wine, January 1986

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dealcoholized Wines by Spinning Cone Column Distillation: Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity Measured by the 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl Method, July 2009

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dealcoholized wine alternative A convincing sparkling white decoy: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: For pet-nat lovers: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: A crisp and fruity white: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: A tangy twist on white wine: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: A natural wine replacement: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: An easy-to-drink rosé replica: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: A tart pink drink: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: The closest thing to red wine: Alcohol level: Type: Why we like it: What we’d pair it with: Ingredients: Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Rosé (0.0% alcohol; dealcoholized wine): NON1 Salted Raspberry & Chamomile (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): NON3 Toasted Cinnamon & Yuzu (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): NON4 Roast Beetroot & Sansho (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): NON7 Stewed Cherry & Coffee (0.0% alcohol; wine alternative): Proxies Pink Salt (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): Proxies Red Clay (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): Proxies Red Ember (less than 0.5% alcohol; wine alternative, fermented): Studio Null: Surely Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc (less than 0.5% alcohol; dealcoholized wine): A variety of styles: Wine alternative or dealcoholized wine: 0.5% or 0.0% alcohol by volume: Interesting, complex flavors: Pair with food: Consistent availability: Available in the US: