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Non-alcoholic sparkling wine review – Maggie Beer, Lindeman's, Edenvale and more

We review six non-alcoholic sparkling wines to see which one tastes the best.

alcohol free wine taste test
Last updated: 19 December 2019

Many of us enjoy a glass or two of sparkling wine to mark a special occasion. In fact, 5.7 million Australians drink sparkling wine at least once a month, pouring a glass of bubbly to celebrate a loved one's birthday, or toast to other good news or cause for celebration. 

But this Christmas and New Year, whether it's because you're pregnant, or sober-curious, or have simply overindulged during the holiday season and want to cut down on your alcohol intake, you may have considered swapping your usual glass of bubbles for a non-alcoholic version. (Yes, you can always drink sparkling water, kombucha or other soft drinks, but sometimes you want something that tastes and looks like the real deal.)

So which tastes best? We put six non-alcoholic sparkling wines to the test. 

Best tasting non-alcoholic sparkling wine

There was only one percentage point difference between the top two tasting wines. 

Edenvale cuvee non alcoholic wine

Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee

  • CHOICE Score: 62%
  • Price: $9.50
  • Alc/Vol: <0.5
  • Volume: 750mL
Triallist comments

Tasters described it as "on the sweeter side, but not too sweet", "more like Champagne", "an appropriate substitute for alcoholic wine" and "I'd drink this again". 

Not everyone enjoyed it, but even the comments from those who disliked it weren't too harsh with many commenting that it's overly sweet and "passable at best". Other comments include "not terrible, just instantly forgettable" and "it's not great… I don't hate it but it's kind of blah". 

fronti sparkling grape drink

Fronti white sparkling grape juice 

  • CHOICE Score: 61%
  • Price: $4.19
  • Alc/Vol: Not stated
  • Volume: 750mL
Triallist comments

The tasters who enjoyed this described it as "nice and sweet… I love this the best", "decent… a bit like 'Deep Spring' mineral water" and "light and refreshing, I could ring in 2020 with this".

While its detractors commented on it's sweetness:  "watery and sugary – what a bizarre combo", "has very little colour, could be confused for tonic or soda water" and "is a good substitute for regular wine, but too sweet for my taste".

Other wines tested

The products are listed below from highest to lowest score. For products with the same score, they're listed alphabetically. 

Edenvale blanc de blane non alcoholic wine

Edenvale Blanc de blanc

  • CHOICE Score: 51%
  • Price: $12.90 
  • Alc/Vol: <0.5
  • Volume: 750ml
Triallist comments

Some comments included: "quite like this one, but it tastes more like cider… very drinkable", "apples in the bouquet, good colour. Quite like a cider or perry" and "tastes like cider, smells like wine".

While other tasters didn't appreciate it: "the taste is a bit unpleasant, I wouldn't choose to put this in my mouth again", "nothing to write home about, taste-wise" and "smells and tastes a bit earthy/mouldy".

Linderman alcohol free wine

Lindeman's Sparkling Alcohol Free Chardonnay Pinot Noir Muscat 

  • CHOICE Score: 45%
  • RRP: $10.99
  • Alc/Vol: <0.5
  • Volume: 750ml
Triallist comments

Many tasters disliked it, commenting: "this smells and tastes awful. Very sour. More like beer than wine", "didn't like the taste at all, almost like day-old wine" and  "all of my nightmares of Spumanti have come back to me".

But the tasters who enjoyed it described it as "very close to real sparkling wine", "smells alcoholic, wouldn't know it's a soft drink" and "actually smells like wine! It's a pretty convincing fake". 

McGuigan sparkling non alcoholic wine

McGuigan Zero Sparkling

  • CHOICE Score: 45%
  • RRP: $12
  • Alc/Vol: <0.5
  • Volume: 750ml
Triallist comments

The tasters who enjoyed this described it as "more like wine – somewhat like a sweeter prosecco", "Comes pretty close to the taste of sparkling wine" and "nice all round flavour, makes you feel like you're actually drinking alcohol".

While those who didn't commented that it has an "unpleasant aroma and sour in-between flavour", "tastes like very bad wine or cider" and that it has a "funky smell".

maggie beer sparkling chardonay no alcohol

Maggie Beer Sparkling Chardonnay

  • CHOICE Score: 41%
  • RRP: $11.99
  • Alc/Vol: Not stated
  • Volume: 750mL
Triallist comments

Many of our tasters disliked this, describing it as "sweet and fruity, but with an aftertaste like sucking on a lemon" and "it tastes like the wine we'd steal off our parents in the 80s". 

But there were some fans: "Very sweet, but a good substitute for a sweet bubbly" said one taster, while another admitted it "tastes like Moscato…would have again but only because I love sugar!"

What we found

Of each sample of non-alcoholic sparkling wine tasted, 51% received a dislike by our triallists, while 49% received either a like or love. 

However, overall CHOICE staff prefer the taste of non-alcoholic wine to non-alcoholic beer – where a staggering 69% of all samples tasted received a dislike, with the worst tasting beer scoring a dismal 30%.

Grape juice or de-alcoholised wine? 

Four of the products we tasted contain de-alcoholised wine (also known as alcohol-removed wine) as a main ingredient:

  • Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee
  • Edenvale Blanc de blanc
  • Lindemans Sparkling Alcohol Free Chardonnay Pinot Noir Muscat
  • McGuigan Zero Sparkling

De-alcoholised wine is made by gently removing the alcohol from a wine that's been fermented and matured.

It may still contain small amounts of alcohol, but no more than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

The other two products are basically sparkling water and grape juice. Fronti describes itself as sparkling grape juice, while the Maggie Beer drink specifies that it uses the juice of Chardonnay grapes and includes the addition of verjuice, presumably for additional acidity.

non alcoholic wine taste testers

CHOICE staff during the blind tasting.

How we tested

Products 

We tested six non-alcoholic sparkling wine available from Coles, Woolworths, Liquorland and Dan Murphy's. The price shown is what we paid in December 2019. 

Tasting 

We set up a blind tasting for 30 CHOICE staffers. Each product was assigned a code and its brand concealed. Our tasters sampled them in a random order. For each sample tasted, people decided if they disliked, liked or loved it. A total of 180 samples were tasted and voted on across the six non-alcoholic wine products. A minimum of 30 taste tests were completed per product. 

Scores

The CHOICE Score is calculated as an average of all responses, where 'dislike' is scaled at 25, 'like' at 70 and 'love' at 100.