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No and low alcohol drinks for wine lovers

Whether or not you’re banishing the booze for dry January, here are some locally-made NOLO alternatives

If you’re taking part in Dry January this year, you’re not alone. The campaign, which is run by Alcohol Change UK and encourages you to ditch the drink for 31 days, has seen thousands of people sign up.

As a champion of English wine, here at The Southern Quarter, we’re hardly going to suggest you quit alcohol for good. However, in our view English wine is supposed to be savoured, not quaffed.  

So, by cutting back on alcohol, either for all of January or perhaps during the week for a longer, more sustainable period, you can save your money for a bottle or two of the good stuff to enjoy at the weekend.

Here are our top, locally-made picks for wine lovers from the low ABV market…

Binary Botanical

Surrey-made Binary Botanical is a sophisticated, light beer for those who would really rather be drinking wine.

The aromatic, tangy beer comes in a 4% abv and lighter 0.5% abv low alcohol version and ticks the sustainability box too as it’s made from organic hop leaves, which are usually thrown away at harvest.

The unique flavour combines the refreshing taste of an ice-cold beer with the tropical notes of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and soft tanginess of a sparkling wine.

Jukes Cordialities

Having never found a genuinely satisfying and palatable non-alcoholic drink throughout his 30-year career, esteemed wine writer Matthew Jukes created a selection of premium non-alcoholic drinks called Jukes Cordialities.

Designed for people who enjoy the taste and complexities of good wine but either choose not to or cannot drink wine, the cordial-style drinks are made from cider vinegar and come in three styles.

Jukes 1 is centred around a citrus and herb theme similar to a white wine, Jukes 6 is fruitier, deeper and spicier with a more mellow, earthy flavour like that of some red wines, while Juke 2 is designed to be somewhere in-between.

Diluted in still or sparkling water, each drink is less than 20 calories per glass.

Wild Life Botanicals

Marketed as ‘BubblesWithBenefits®’, this ultra-low alcohol English sparkling wine is one of the latest product to join the plant power revolution.

Made in Cornwall, the 0.5% ABV wine is infused with an uplifting elixir of vitamins, minerals and botanicals each chosen for their health-giving properties and claims to deliver a minimum 15% of your daily reference intake of vitamins and minerals.

The wine comes in a white and rose style and is just 35 calories per 125ml glass.

Davenport PetNat, 2019

Petillant Naturel is becoming increasingly popular with English vineyards that favour a minimal intervention approach to winemaking and is made by putting a young wine in the bottle earlier than usual and letting the fermentation continue in the bottle.

PetNat wines are lightly sparkling, have no added sulphites and a slightly cloudy texture and are lower in alcohol than most wines so great if you’re not prepared to give up alcohol completely but want a lighter alternative.

This one, by Kent-based Davenport, is made from a blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Meunier and Faber grapes, has delicate notes of elderflower with a slight cidery undercurrent and is 9% ABV.

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