Taste Test || Alcohol-Free Wine

taste-test-non-alcoholic-wine-7taste-test-non-alcoholic-wine-1I know what you’re thinking – alcohol-free wine? What’s the point?! Hear me out on this one…

Adam and I decided to challenge ourselves (along with the rest of the world) this January and do something different, and what better thing to give up after a season of boozing, than, well, booze. For me, alcohol isn’t the biggest of challenges, but for my dear other half, it was likely to be more of a struggle as wine to him is like chocolate to me, and boy would I find it difficult giving up that! 

Therefore, having never tried any alcohol-free masqueraders before, what better chance to actually see what they’re like and do the hard work for you, if you ever choose to do the same (or y’know, are the designated driver/pregnant/alcohol intolerant (you poor old sod!)).

We thought the best way of testing these beauties was to compare directly and do a blind taste test – scientifically speaking we failed at this, but comparing them side by side did show up quite a difference that you may not have noticed otherwise. We also looked up proper wine tastings and how you should go about them – hence the categories we judged them on. Comparing red, white and rose side by side is probably not the fairest of tests, but our opinions are all based on initial reactions.


Wine A  ||  Natureo, Syrah 

Spanish, £4.79, 32 kcal per glass, 0.5% alcohol

  • Appearance: Darkest of them all
  • In-glass Aroma: Mellow, juniper?! 
  • In-mouth Sensations: Tastes quite full bodied, wine like (hey that’s a good thing right?!)
  • Finish (aftertaste): Soft, does have an aftertaste, quite fruity but not too sweet


Wine B  ||  Eisberg, Red Cabernet Sauvignon

 German, £3,  26kcal per glass, 0% alcohol

  • Appearance: Mid dark, good red colour
  • In-glass Aroma: Very sweet, fruity, like blackcurant
  • In-mouth Sensations: sweet, sour fruit, squash like
  • Finish (aftertaste): empty, blackcurant lingers


Wine C  ||  Fre, Red Blend

Californian, £3.49, 35 kcal per glass, 0.2% alcohol (additional info – 21% fruit juice)

  •  Appearance: lightest of the reds, what else can you say about appearance?!
  •  In-glass Aroma: musky, spicy
  • In-mouth Sensations: fruitiness, mid between wine and squash
  • Finish (aftertaste): Quite spicy, a bit like actual wine but without the warmth


Wine D  ||  Eisberg, Rose

German, £3,  33 kcal per glass, (additional info on label – hints of strawberry jam and raspberry)

  •  Appearance: Very light pink, but like a dusky pink rather than bright pink
  •  In-glass Aroma:  Fruity, floral, rose like
  • In-mouth Sensations: There’s a tang, almost like fizz, very sweet, overpowering rose flavour, doesn’t taste like wine at all
  • Finish (aftertaste): Rose, like a mouthful of flowers, or your granny’s handcream, so much rose – TOO much rose!


Wine E  ||  Ebony Vale, Chardonnay

German, £3, 27 kcal per glass, 0.05% alcohol, additional info (low pressure vacuum, hints of apples and pears with a touch of vanilla)

  •  Appearance: Bery pale white
  •  In-glass Aroma: Sharp and acidic, citrusy, quite off-putting
  • In-mouth Sensations: Sharp, does taste quite like a Chardonnay, much better than the aroma suggests, quite a lot like wine
  • Finish (aftertaste): The sharpness cons you into believing it was wine, like a granny smith apple


So there are the initial thoughts, and really we shouldn’t be comparing like for like as we mainly drink red anyway, and if I was having a white it would much rather be a pinot than a chardonnay, but we secretly voted the order we would rank them in (which actully differed surprisingly) and then combined the scores to give an overall ranking.

1st: Natureo – The closest to actual wine of them all, really easy drinking, and a good flavour. We bought this one from Waitrose, so it was also the most expensive, but at £4.79, it won’t break the bank!

2nd: Ebony Vale – Although neither of us particularly like Chardonnay, it does taste quite similar, has a crisp aftertaste and was more enjoyable than the aroma suggested initially.

3rd: Fre – The juiciest of all the wines, and therefore also the most calorific, but if you quite like the taste of a sweeter red, it’s quite tasty. I put this one in second place as I prefer red wine, but we agreed that the Ebony Vale was more “wine-like” so it was placed higher.

4th: Eisberg Red – Boring and bland, which is saying something as these are all non-alcoholic so all have that reaction to some degree. This was the worst of the reds though, which is a shame as Eisberg seems to be the main brand that’s available in all supermarkets.

5th: Eisberg Rose – A resounding last place for this one. I am not a fan of rose flavour, and this was really overpowering. If you love anything rose like, it may be for you, but for us I’m afraid it came rock bottom.


Overall, if you’re going tee-total at all and really fancy a glass of wine, don’t expect them to be incredible, as they’re not. I think the taste can be achieved successfully, especially with the Natureo, but you simply don’t get the warmth you have from alcoholic wine, and that’s the key thing we missed from the non-alcoholic stuff. The taste test proved interesting, and I think non-alcoholic wine is something you’d soon get used to, but I think for now I’d much rather have a glass of the real thing!