Last fall I made a huge positive change toward drinking less often by swapping in NA wine and beer. Here are my favorite nonalcoholic wines and beers (and the ones I think you can pass on ordering). This post includes affiliate links with promos attached!
Nonalcoholic wine and beer is on the up and up!
You’ve probably seen them advertised on social media. You might have tried one during a dry January or a pregnancy. There are now whole websites like Nanobar that sell only nonalcoholic drinks! And even brick and mortar shops now too.
The nonalcoholic wines and beers of the past do not have the best reputation.
BUT!!! I am here today to tell you that they are getting better. And some are actually pretty fantastic.
I spent all of last fall 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, SipC.
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.
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 back in October 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.
Athletic Brewing 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.
Best Nonalcoholic Wines And Beers
Here are my tasting notes after tasting each NA wine, including rosé, white blend, sparkling, reds, and beer. 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.
Best Nonalcoholic Wines
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.
It has 25 calories per can with 5 grams of sugar, 2 are added and 3 from fruit. I’m on my third shipment from Surely.com.
The Surely Sparkling Rosé is right up there with the brut for being awesome! It tastes just like the cans of sparkling rosé I have from Scout & Cellar (which have alcohol) and 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.
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. They have a mixed sampler to try a variety and Reserve bottles, which are pricey but I am so curious to try.
I found Sovi and Surely to be very similar in taste. Sovi gets the leg up for being sustainable! The Sovi Sparkling Rosé was dry and bright with a fruity nose. The Nanobar 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.
I don’t think this one is available anymore, but keeping it for the review. I ordered this for fun, although I tend not to like spritzers as much. I had a can of Truly this summer and couldn’t even drink it! Yuck! But this spritzer is good. It’s honestly so close to the sparkling rosé that I was very happy with it. The tropical coconut and passionfruit are very subtle. If you like fruitier wines, this one is a great recommendation!
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. You can get it at Nanobar in a 6-pack, but I ended up finding it at Whole Foods! It was $15 or so. They also have a rosé that I’m going to hunt down too.
Second Tier of Best Nonalcoholic Wines
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’s why all the wines that made the top tier are sparkling.
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.
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!
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.
This is brand new, and I placed an ordered immediately upon the news. 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).
A light and fruit forward blend of alcohol-removed Cabernet & Pinot Noir with fun effervescence, dark cherry notes and a nice dry finish.
White wines are great for summertime, but I REALLY wanted to find a NA red wine that I loved. The Surely Pinot Noir was the first I tried. Unfortunately, it did not have me convinced it was real pinot.
The this pinot noir was more on the grape juice side of the spectrum, but it changed a lot on me depending on what I ate before or after, just like a real wine might. Sometimes it tasted like grape juice and sometimes it tasted very much like wine, depending on what I was eating with it. I did not like it when I tried it straight, then I actually really liked it with dinner. But when I finished the bottle, it went back to grape juice flavor.
I liked it more with food! It was on the light side, like many pinots are in general, and I was hoping for it to taste a bit more juicy and jammy, maybe with more tannins.
Surely has a Cabernet Sauvignon as well, but it’s been sold out for a while. I am hoping it is a bit more full bodied. I want to try it when/if it’s back! 50 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
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…)
I luckily found it at Wegmans for only $8. Don’t buy it on Amazon or you’ll pay 3x as much!
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.
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.
Interestingly, Thomas couldn’t stand any of these reds, so they were not fooling him.
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 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.
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!
This IPA is crisp and hoppy with the perfect amount of bitterness. I love it! It tastes 100% like a real IPA to me.
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.
I really like this golden too! It’s a good one for summertime – very refreshing.
This was the only beer that disappointed me, not really because it’s bad but because it’s much more of a stout than a sweeter pumpkin brown ale. I don’t tend to love the bitterness of stouts. If you do, you’ll love this one!
I’ve also tried the Lodge Life and All Out stouts. I am not a stout person, but I thought they were very good. Lodge Life was my favorite.
Up and Coming: Nonalcoholic Spirits
Have you tried any? I just ordered this Mezcal this week! They make whiskey and gin and cocktail kits too. My sister recommends this Pineapple Smoke mixer that would bring a lot of flavor with the zero alcohol spirits.
I tried Seedlip years ago, but since I don’t really like vodka or gin in general, I didn’t really like their NA versions either.
If you are a spirits lover and/or have tried any of the NA versions, please share in the comments!
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.
- Surely uses spinning cone column technology to create their alcohol-free wines.
- Sovi uses vacuum distillation, which boils off the alcohol at a low temperature in a vacuum, keeping the wine’s flavors and aromas intact.
- Wine Folly has a great graphic for the reverse osmosis process in this post.
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?
Nanobar is a great place to put together a big order of everything you want to try. From Athletic Brewing to Sovi to Surely and tons more I have yet to try, they have them all!
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!
If you’re looking for a community of other women looking to cut back or cut out alcohol, my friend Ally has created a Facebook community and group coaching for $29. Learn more here.
Note this community is not for those with alcohol use disorder.