I've been sober for a year and these are the best non-alcoholic wines that don't make me feel like I'm missing out

The best non-alcoholic wines aren't just for Christmas - you'll want to sip these booze-free options all year round

A collage of the best non alcoholic wines
(Image credit: Future)

From whites, red and rosé to bubbles and mulled options, we've sampled the best non-alcoholic wines out there - and these are our favourites.

The festive season is almost upon us, and for many of us, that means our weekends are about to be filled with Christmas parties, family gatherings and more seasonal social occasions. Alcohol is a often common denominator in these events, but given the benefits of not drinking - not to mention the effects of alcohol on your skin - it's no surprise that one in seven adults in the UK choose to never drink alcohol, according to Drinkaware. And for the parents among us, giving up alcohol can be a practical life choice too, whether that's because you're breastfeeding or simply because you can't bear the thought of dealing with a toddler when you're hungover. 

Laura Willoughby MBE, founder of the world’s largest mindful drinking movement, Club Soda, explains, "Ultimately, we all know alcohol is not great for us. Cutting down won’t do us any harm and finding a nice drink to fill that gap helps with your moderation targets." She adds, "Alcoholic wine is different to other alcohol because it is still, meaning we can drink it quicker, and once a bottle is open it is easy to finish. With a much higher ABV than beer (often near the 15% mark), we can end drunker than we realise. When it’s time to change, many people find wine the most challenging drink to cut down or quit."

But non-alcoholic wine isn't just for those who've decided to give up the booze for good. Sometimes drinking every weekend just isn't practical for a busy parent, which is why you might want to consider trying some low and no options this festive season. We've tested 12 of the best alcoholic wines on offer - including sparkling and mulled options - and rated them by their taste, smell and appearance, so you know which booze-free bottle to take to your next festive gathering. 

How we tested the best non-alcoholic wine

We handpicked all of the non-alcoholic wines included in this list and conducted our own taste tests, to make sure every product is one that we would choose to drink ourselves. 

Just like we would if we were testing alcoholic wine, we served each of these drinks at their recommended temperatures too, and took into account not only the taste, but the smell, colour and ingredients as well. 

And each pick has the seal of approval from Goodto Family Editor, Stephanie Lowe, who's been sober for over a year now. "I'm a mum-of-one and I've been sober for 18 months now. In that time I've nervously navigated big celebrations (Hello 40!), boring social situations and the long old festive period all with the help of alcohol-free drinks," she explains. 

"I've tried the majority so you don't have to, read this tried and tested and avoid wasting your money while declaring 'it's just fruit juice really'. Plus, I know it's annoying but even in the world of alcohol-free you get what you pay for, and yes it stings when 0% 'wine' costs the same as 14% wine, but trust me when I say it's worth it."

15 best non-alcoholic wines, tried and tested

Best non-alcoholic red wines

Best non-alcoholic white wines

Best non-alcoholic rose wines

Best non-alcoholic sparkling wines

Best non-alcoholic mulled wines

Things to consider when choosing a non-alcoholic wine

  • Grape variety: Just like with alcoholic wine, some non-alcoholic alternatives are made using specific kinds of wine grapes. So, if you know that you like the flavour of a particular alcoholic wine, try and find a non-alcoholic alternative that uses the same grape. 
  • Alcohol by volume (ABV): Even if a drink is labelled alcohol-free, this doesn't necessarily mean it contains 0% alcohol. Some alcohol-free wines have an ABV of up to 0.5%. Meanwhile, 'low alcohol' wines have an ABV of 1.2% or less. 
  • Pairings: Much like with alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic versions can enhance the dining experience, as opposed to drinking a different soft drink. If you're buying a non-alcoholic wine, think about what you're likely to be eating when you drink it and choose an option that will go well with your meal. 

Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda, explains, "Wine is generally an occasion drink designed to complement food. What you put in its place does not have to be wine. You can choose between de-alcoholised wines or drinks that are 'wine shaped', have many characteristics of wine, and pair with food but are not 'wine'."

She adds that it can be best not to compare alcoholic and alcohol-free wine, and consider non-alcoholic versions as a drink in its own right. "You will notice the difference because the drink has gone from 15% to 0.5% - that is a lot of alcohol!"

Laura goes on to say, "Alcohol-free wine and wine alternatives are lower in sugar and designed to go with food, and you will notice that it is a much nicer experience than a soft drink and more fun than just sipping on tap water. It’s about the occasion and equality about the serve. No one wants a Coca-Cola from a hose with a nice meal!"

Can you get a hangover from non-alcoholic wine?

No, you can't get a hangover from non-alcoholic wine because it doesn't have the same side effects as alcoholic drinks. For example, alcohol is a diuretic - meaning it makes you more dehydrated - which contributes to hangover symptoms such as thirst, fatigue and headache. 

However, there is limited research that suggests sulfites may contribute to wine headaches, and these compounds are also present in non-alcoholic wines. For example, one 2019 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming wine with a higher concentration of sulfites was linked to a greater risk of headaches for those with a history of wine-induce headaches.

Meanwhile, tannins are also present in non-alcoholic wines and are thought to trigger migraines in some people - although, again, the research is limited. One scientific review in the Journal of Head and Face Pain suggested that red wines with more tannins are probably worse for triggering migraine attacks.

What counts as non-alcoholic wine?

Non-alcoholic wine is wine that has been dealcoholized through a process of distillation or filtration. Non-alcoholic wine will often still contain small amounts of alcohol, but the quantity is so small that it's considered safe for people who don't drink alcohol. 

0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) is widely considered the threshold for a drink to be classed as alcoholic, which is why you may see many 0.5% wines or beers advertised as alcohol-free.

Drinkaware explains, "Many, although not all, producers follow government guidance that says alcohol-free drinks may contain up to 0.05% ABV (Sometimes these types of drinks might be described as ‘zero alcohol’, or ‘0.0’ too). But because the guidance is voluntary, in practice you might see alcohol-free labelled drinks that are up to 0.5% ABV for sale."

If you're not ready to give up alcohol just yet, but still want to make a positive change to your health, check out these low-calorie alcoholic drinks. Or, if you're wondering if there are any health benefits of alcohol, we've delved into whether gin can be good for you

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.

With contributions from