What low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks to try this holiday season


Now we are in the thick of the action – the holiday season with a parade of friends and family passing through your door until New Years Day. Some of them, no doubt, will be marathon runners, designated drivers, or parents who can’t risk a hangover.

Riding the wellness trend in America, low-alcohol, non-alcoholic wine and beer has become a growing sector of the market. They offer a range of options for guests who want to include those who want to celebrate while remaining sober.

“As wine lovers ourselves, we founded Sovi with a passionate but rebellious spirit to finally offer consumers refreshing, alcohol-free wine without compromising flavor or experience,” said Julia Littauer, co- founder of Sovi and former sommelier from San Francisco. “Sovi is perfect for people with a heart for wine and a thirst for inclusion.”

The new Napa Valley brand makes a sparkling rosé and red blend, using advanced technology to remove alcohol from wines. Sovi is sold as a four-pack for $ 24 on the drinksovi.com website and in select stores. It is classified as a non-alcoholic drink in the United States because it contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

Another tasty, locally produced option is the Bella Snow brand of low-alcohol beer.

“The light lager category is the most popular (by volume) in the country, and it’s also the lowest alcohol percentage,” said Sean Boisson, CEO and co-founder, who lives in Sonoma. “It got me thinking. We partnered with UC Davis and a yeast expert at Stanford to create the first “session” beer for all tolerance levels. (“Sessionable” refers to low-alcohol beers.) I have no doubt in my mind that the low-alcohol category will be the most important. “

Bella Snow, a Scottish grapefruit or tangerine beer, belongs to the “soft ale” category because it contains 2.4% alcohol by volume. There is no sugar or gluten, which is why Boisson calls it “a truly guilt-free beer”.

Other brands to discover for those who want to avoid alcohol:

Alcohol-free:

Fre, produced by Sutter Home, has a range that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Rosé and a Sparkler, all at $ 15 or less.

Ariel produces a Cabernet Sauvignon ($ 7) and a Chardonnay ($ 9).

Starla makes a red blend, a sauvignon blanc and a sparkling rosé, all for $ 28.

Gruvi beer produces an IPA, a pale ale, a stout and a Sour Weisse, all offered in packs of 12 for $ 30.

Busty Lush crafts She’s Golden Blonde Ale; a six pack costs $ 11.

Brewdog offers a six-pack of Elvis ($ 12), Hazy ($ 8), Nanny State ($ 12), and Punk ($ 12).

Low alcohol content:

Brancott Estate, a New Zealand brand, produces Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, both at $ 12.

Leitz, a German brand, makes a sparkling rosé and a sparkling riesling, both for $ 22.

Bel’s Light Hearted produces a beer; a pack of 12 costs $ 19.

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at [email protected] or 707-521-5310.

About Michael Brafford

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