The selection of non-alcoholic drinks continues to expand and improve as producers around the world look to make more stylish and delicious options. With the festive season upon us, more readers than ever have been asking for zero-alcohol recommendations, especially wine selections. Based on recent tastings, here are some reliable sources for top quality and tasty alcohol-free selections.
ClearSips is a new venture for David Thompson, the founder of Vintage Trade who has been involved with selling wines and spirits to the LCBO and restaurants in Ontario since 2001. Working with his wife and two daughters, Thompson has created this agency specializing in selling and distributing high-quality, non-alcoholic drinks. The portfolio includes a growing range of low- and no-alcohol wines, spirits, beer, ciders and ready-to-drink selections from producers, such as Oddbird, HP Juniper and Sober Carpenter.
The thoughtful attention to sourcing interesting and enjoyable non-alcoholic wine is most welcome. A current favourite is the fresh and fruity Rabl Kamptal Verjus Spritz from Austria ($17.95 per bottle), which works as a zesty aperitif served on its own or appealing base for a sangria, spritzer or wine-based cocktail. Another standout is the Oddbird Spumante Rosé ($22.95 per bottle, a de-alcoholized sparkling wine made from pinot noir and glera (the grape variety used to make Prosecco) grown in the Veneto region of Italy, which conveys textbook citrus and berry flavours. clearsips.ca
Edna’s Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Company
Launched by veteran Vancouver bartender Nick Devine, Edna’s produces a range of ready-to-drink, sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails. Produced with fruit juices, shrubs, extracts and oils to produce alcohol-free adaptations of classic mixed drinks. The portfolio includes a Collins, Mule, Mojito and Paloma, packaged in 335 ml cans that are tasty approximations to the traditional mixed cocktails. You could use them as a cocktail base and add your own spirits or make a low-alcohol beverage by mixing with beer or wine for a refreshingly flavourful radler or spritzer. The lime and mint-laced Mojito and citrus-y Paloma are the stand outs. ednascocktails.com
Leitz Eins Zwei Zero
Eins Zwei Zero is a de-alcoholized wine range produced by Leitz winery in Rüdesheim, Germany. There are non-alcohol rieslings and rosés (still and sparking versions) and a pinot noir. The sparkling rosé ($14.95 per bottle, $3.95 per can) is particularly impressive, with attractive flavours and a refreshing finish. vineland.com
Plan your weekend with our Good Taste newsletter, offering wine advice and reviews, recipes, restaurant news and more. Sign up today.