The explosion of no and low alcohol wines that have hit the marketplace in recent years means that designated drivers and grape lovers everywhere can finally ditch the tomato juice and sugar laden fizzy pop in favour of something far more sophisticated and complex.
From alcohol-free Cava alternatives to low alcohol Pinot Noir, the wine industry is really turning up the dial when it comes to no/low beverage production. This, as a result, is opening huge opportunities for retailers and hospitality businesses alike.
Dry January sales
Indeed, the growth rate forecast for low/no wine by IWSR for the next five years (2021–25) is 15 per cent per annum on average, compared with less than 1 per cent per annum for total wine volume.
For wine sellers this is great news as it means the quality and choice of no and low alcohol varieties could mean they get to see dry January out each year without seeing sales dry up.
So, what are consumers likely to be looking for from their no and low alcoholic tipple?
- Best of both worlds
Research points to the fact that no-alcohol beverages are consumed by people seeking to moderate – rather than obliterate – their alcohol consumption and so low alcohol varieties are likely to grow in popularity.
More than half of no/low consumers report that they choose to switch between no/low and full-strength alcohol products on the same occasion and consumers are open to trying something new.
2. Best possible taste
They are also demanding a great tasting beverage that holds its own at dinner parties. No and low wine has always been a popular option for food pairing for people who are looking to limit alcohol intake as the complexity of taste enhances food flavours making them a much better choice as a meal accompaniment than sugar laden soda.
As a result, the industry is pouring investment into development to make sure expectations are met – so look out for new and improved products and brands.
3. Bonus benefits
Consumers seeking low-calorie, low-sugar and natural ingredients are also drawn to no and low alcoholic wines. It’s all part of the increasing focus on health and well-being that really took off during lockdown.
Enjoying a drink with friends and benefiting from an active lifestyle will be the way of choice for many in 2022 and beyond.
So as ‘dry January 2022’ stretches out before us and the appetite for low and no alcohol wine grows, retailers and hospitality business owners may wonder what to order in.
Here are our top 7 recommendations:
- Belle & Co. Sparkling Rose
The Belle & Co. message is all about getting friends together without feeling the pressure to drink alcohol. It’s benefited from a proactive social media campaign in recent months that saw it partnering with Lay-Z-Spa.
Belle & Co. is made differently to other no alcohol wines. The juice goes through a bacterial fermentation process and has not been de-alcoholised.
It won the ‘Ocado Rising Star’ award for Best Low-Alcoholic Product category in April 2021.
- Vallformosa sparkling 0.0%
We’ve recently covered award winning Vallformosa and how it’s making a splash in the Cava world. Vallformosa also turns its hand to the low/no market with is sparkling 0.0% variety.
It’s promoted as a food-friendly yet alcohol-free beverage but is also perfect for celebrations.
- Black tower 0.0% white
Reh Kendermann, the winery behind iconic brand Black Tower, brings to the no/low market its 0.0% Black Tower White.
The brand is very active on social media: Check out their recent campaign #OpenUpYourHome with Vicky Pattinson on @blacktowerwine (Instagram and Facebook).
- The Very Cautious One Shiraz
Red wine is probably one of the hardest products to get right in the alcohol-free arena, so we were really thrilled when we tried this 0.0% dealcoholised Shiraz made by the Australian, family-owned De Bortoli winery as the depth of flavour really impressed our team.
It was recently picked by esteemed wine buff Christine Parkinson of Hakkasan fame to be part of the Club Soda Christmas wine subscription box.
- Willowglen Gewurztraminer Riesling 0.0%
Also made by De Bortoli, this is a cracking alcohol free white as is made with aromatic grapes meaning it doesn’t disappoint on flavour. It is a fantastic alcohol-free option if you are planning a meal with fish or white meat – or with vegetarian or vegan dishes.
- Fresita Sparkling Strawberry infused wine 75cl and 20cl 8%
For consumers looking to cut back rather than cut out alcohol altogether, Fresita at 8%, is a great wine.
It adds a dose of fruit puree during production, resulting in a delightful sparkling strawberry infused wine which has gathered an army of loyal fans in the UK over the years – including 115,000 Facebook followers!
- Sunny with a chance of Flowers Pinot Noir 9%
Sunny With a Chance of Flowers has been created so that wine drinkers ‘can have their cake and eat it too’. We take this to mean that you can enjoy all the benefits of a good quality wine without worrying about overdoing it on the alcohol front.
It’s made by a sustainably minded, family-owned winery Scheid in California and is in our opinion a corker of a lower alcohol red option.
Drop us a line
For more ideas about how to stock up during Dry January 2022 and beyond, please drop us a line. We’re happy to give our opinion on all types of wine from zero to high alcohol.