Expertise

Our approach to building our new Low & No range

We have just launched a small but perfectly formed range of No and Low alcohol drinks selected to appeal to wine drinkers.

Our approach to building our new Low & No range

Many of our members tell us they are looking for alternatives when cutting back on alcohol or for tasty things to enjoy on non-alcohol drinking occasions. This makes our new range good news for designated drivers and those taking part in Dry January. It is also part of our commitment to promoting responsible drinking within our sustainability strategy 

We built the range with the same approach to quality we have for buying wine. But more specifically, we were searching for compelling drinks to appeal to our members: wine drinkers. We looked for complexity, texture, acidity and structure, often drinks that were quite dry, but also crucially designed for sipping, like wine. We were not looking for soft drinks.

New-wave drinks

We held a tasting session with the buyers and others around The Society, alongside an external expert in the field. We tasted more than 60 products, many from new or small producers, some of whom started off in their kitchens! The drinks themselves sat across three categories: non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks like gin, beer and wine, drinks traditionally made with no alcohol like kombucha, and a new wave of completely new drinks designed specifically to replace alcohol at drinking occasions.  

The alcohol-free drinks we tasted created a lot of debate on taste and quality. Many drinks relied on sugar sweetness rather than flavour and were no different to soft drinks. Unfortunately we found alcohol-free wines to be disappointing on the whole. Quality is improving slowly but from a low base, so this area is still a work in progress. The best were sparkling wines, including our Gratien and Meyer Festillant Sparkling Sans Alcool

Beers were a strong section of the tasting. Clearly, brewers have successfully cracked no-alcohol versions of their beers. It’s no surprise that our top-selling beer has generally been our non-alcoholic version, and is now joined by Drink'in The Sun Alcohol Free Pale Ale Mikkeller Denmark and Dark Lager Small Beer Co, London

Complex and authentic

The traditional, fermented but non-alcoholic products were an exciting category. We all felt that kombucha earned its place for wine drinkers. These had complexity, were challenging in a good way, had length and crucially tasted authentic. 

Of the new-wave ‘wine occasion’ drinks, many were vinegar-based drinks which we found less successful. However, we were pleased to taste the drinks intentionally made as alternative wines with no alcohol. These so called ‘alt wines’ are often created by winemakers and plant scientists using botanical blends and fermented fruit juices. They are bold, different and might appeal to members because the flavours are curious and challenging yet rewarding. In our new range you’ll find Blurred Vines Sharp Alt Wine and Blurred Vines Spark Alt Wine. 

In spirits and aperitifs/digestifs, we think the Pentire Seaward non-alcoholic spirit is one of the best, and this has been joined by the excellent Three Spirit Non-Alcoholic Nightcap. 

Take a look at our low alcohol and no alcohol range. We think you’ll find plenty to talk about in the range, and we’d love to have your feedback via memberservices@thewinesociety.com. You can try them without risk – they’re all covered by The Society’s Promise. And, if you’re a supplier with a promising product you think will delight our members, you can contact us on the same email address. 

Tasting our Low & No alcohol wines, beers and drinks range

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Catherine and Pierre taste and talk about our Low & No range, which features wine, spirits and cutting-edge drinks packed with flavour, but contain little or no alcohol.

Low & No alcohol wines, spirits and beers

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Pierre Mansour

Director of Wine

Pierre Mansour

Pierre joined the Buying Team in 2003 and was promoted to the position of head of buying in 2017. He is responsible for Spain and Lebanon.

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