Everything you ever wanted to know about non-alcoholic wine

Mar 30, 2022

You ask - I answer! Every day Sans Drinks customers ask me questions about non-alcoholic wine - so I've answered the most common questions in this blog post.
Wine glasses filled with non-alcoholic wine

No, non-alcoholic wine is not full of sugar 

I get asked about the sugar content of non-alcoholic wine a lot. There is a misconception that all non-alcoholic wine is full of sugar - perhaps due to many of the offerings at the supermarket and liquor stores over the years.

The truth is that not all non-alcoholic wine is not full of sugar. On top of this, somewhat ironically, a recent report from Alcohol Health Alliance UK, found that a bottle of alcoholic wine can contain up to 59g of sugar. 

The good news is that, unlike alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic wine is clearly labelled with nutritional information such as sugar, calories and ingredients. This means that when you are drinking non-alcoholic wine you know exactly how much sugar you are consuming. 

A hand holding a bottle of Next Destination alcohol free barossa valley Shiraz

Lots of my customers are concerned about the amount of sugar they are consuming, so I created a Low Sugar Wine section, using the Australian Food Standards guidelines to classify my wines. This means that all of the wine in the low sugar wine section contains 2.5g of sugar per 100g or less. 

Want a low sugar wine? Try this: 

Next Destination Barossa valley Shiraz


Non-alcoholic wine is not full of empty calories either 

Likewise, non-alcoholic wine is not full of empty calories. Alcohol is a highly calorific substance, which means that the vast majority of non-alcoholic wine is lower in calories than traditional wine. 

Because alcoholic winemakers are not required to list nutritional information on their labels it is hard to know exactly how many calories there are in traditional wine.

However, we do know that a typical alcoholic wine has significantly more calories than non-alcoholic wine. 

Sauvignon Blanc is a good example. A typical alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc contains around 81 calories per 100mls. Whereas the calories in a non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc range from 13 calories per 100mls (Giesen 0% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc) to 20 calories per 100mls (1920 Wines Sauvignon Blanc). 

Two bottles of 1920 Wines Alcohol Removed Pinot Grigio and one glass of wine filled with non-alcoholic white wine

All of the non-alcoholic wine in my low calorie wine section follows Australian Food Standards label guidelines, so is 19 calories per 100mls or under. 

Want a low-calorie wine? Try this: 

1920 Wines Alcohol Removed Pinot Grigio

Non-alcoholic wine isn't cheap like lemonade 

Since opening Sans Drinks a lot of people have asked me about the price of non-alcoholic wine. There is an assumption that because there is no alcohol in it, it should cost less than traditional alcoholic wine - and that is not the case. 

Non-alcoholic wine is more expensive to produce than alcoholic wine. Winemakers producing non-alcoholic wine need to use the best possible grapes so that the wine is high quality - there is no alcohol to mask a poorer quality wine. 

Want to read more about this? Read this: Why Zero-Alcohol Drinks Aren't Cheap Like Lemonade

Most non-alcoholic wine is de-alcoholised

Although non-alcoholic wine has grown in popularity, a lot of people still make the mistake of thinking that it's just glorified grape juice. You might even find some grape juice masquerading alcohol-free wine in the supermarket. 

Most of the non-alcoholic wine available at Sans Drinks has been made using a combination of traditional winemaking techniques and gentle alcohol removal. This means that until the final alcohol removal stage, non-alcoholic wine is the same as traditional, alcoholic wine. This is why non-alcoholic wine has the same aroma and taste as traditional wine - the only difference between the two is the alcohol.

So, what is a wine alternative? 

In contrast to de-alcoholised wine, wine alternatives are drinks that are made without alcohol. NON, for example, is made with fresh ingredients and the fruits, herbs and other natural ingredients are steeped in hot water and verjus (acidic juice from unripe grapes) to draw out an array of delicious and unique flavours.

Looking for a wine alternative? Try this: 

NON 3 Toasted Cinnamon & Yuzu


Yes, there are vegan non-alcoholic wines 

Non-alcoholic Vegan wine is non-alcoholic wine that has been made without the use of animal products. While wine is made from grapes, some traditional winemaking agents are not vegan-friendly. For example, some winemakers use egg whites or milk protein to remove small particles of sediment that can't be removed via filtration. 

Two Thomson and Scott Noughty bottles and two champagne glasses filled with non-alcoholic champagne

When I noticed that a lot of Sans Drinks customers were asking me about vegan-friendly non-alcoholic wine I decided to create a vegan wine section. Lots of my best-selling non-alcoholic wine brands make vegan wine, for example, Thomson & Scott Nouhty, Wild Life Botanicals, 1920 Wines, Le Petit Etoile and Eisberg all make vegan-friendly wine. 

Looking a vegan wine? Try this: 

Thomson & Scott Noughty


You can get non-alcoholic organic wine too! 

Organic wine is a wine that has been made with organically farmed grapes. The rules and regulations that relate to organic farming vary around the world, generally speaking, organic farming excludes the use of synthetic chemicals fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. 

Organic wine should be certified by an independent third-party organisation such as the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA).

There are a number of brands that make non-alcoholic organic wine, including Thomson & Scott Noughty, Le Petit Etoile and Odd Bird. 

Looking for an organic wine? Try this: 

Odd Bird Domaine de la Prade Organic Merlot/Shiraz

The way that you serve your non-alcoholic wine does impact the taste 

There are multiple factors that impact your experience of non-alcoholic wine. For example, the temperature that you serve it, the glassware you serve it and the food that you pair it with will all impact the taste of the wine. 

Want to find out more? Read this: Five factors that could be changing the taste of your wine

A picnic set up with food, a bottle of non-alcoholic red wine and a glass filled with non-alcoholic red wine

Non-alcoholic wine contains tannins 

Tannins are naturally occurring polyphenols (macromolecules) that are found in plants, seeds, bark, wood and fruit skins. Tannins are most commonly found in red wine, but there are some white wines that contain tannins, for example, a white wine that has been aged in a wooden barrel. 

The tannins in wine add complexity and bitterness and help give the wine structure. In fact, most wine experts agree that tannins are one of the keys to a well-balanced wine. 

Wine tannins are thought to be good for our health because they act as antioxidants. 

Many non-alcoholic red wines contain tannins. Check our product descriptions to find out if your favourite non-alcoholic wine contains tannins. 

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