The non-alcoholic wine category is growing at the speed of knots. Yes, SA’s three extensive alcohol bans in 10 months (and let me rather not say what I think of that) would have helped fire this growth. But the real thing that is driving it is a general desire to live more healthily. If wellbeing and your waistline are also on your mind, here are three sparkling wines that make the cut.



Van Loveren wine estate was an early adopter of the non-alcoholic craze. I’ve written about their Almost Zero wine range before. Recently they added bubbles to the range and frankly I adore them. Why?

Because of all the offerings out there the two Van Loveren ones – Absolute Zero and Absolute Zero Nectar – are among the best. There are two reasons for this: 1) the taste and 2) what’s in the bottle. Let’s not beat about the bush, when alcohol is removed from wine, something is lost in translation. Mouthfeel, intensity, flavour – they’re all affected to some extent, it’s inevitable. Van Loveren’s Absolute Zero range manages to overcome these challenges rather better than many of its competitors. The Absolute Zero is dry, crisp and lively and delivers noticeably on the palate with tropical flavours and a smooth finish. I feel no need to share this bottle.

Their Absolute Zero Nectar has the tiniest hint of sweetness. Your first response upon tasting it would not be that it is sweet, because really it is not. The little bit of sugar in this sparkling wine just serves to deliver a pleasing roundness along with smooth honeyed, nougat notes on the palate. Served ice cold, it is truly delicious. I couldn’t get enough of it.

So, top marks for taste on these two. What about what’s in the bottle? Here is where Van Loveren really gets it, because they’ve put nutritional information on the back of the bottle. I am a major label reader. I like knowing the sodium, fat/carbohydrate etc. content of what I put in my mouth. Many non-alcoholic wines do NOT do this. So you may know that you are imbibing no alcohol, but what about the CARBS? If they don’t tell you, you can betcha that it has more than you want to be drinking.

Van Loveren’s Absolutely Zero Sparkling wine has 0% alcohol of course. But it also contains just 1.0g of sugar, 1.1g of carbs and 19kJ of energy per 100ml. That’s just brilliant for waistline watchers! And it’s what makes this sparkler one of my top personal picks picks for healthy sipping.

The Nectar also has 0% alcohol, but its slight edge of sweetness means you get 3,2g of sugar, 3,2g of carbs and 58kJ per 100ml. I like knowing stuff like this, it allows me to make informed decisions. The Nectar is just yummy and with numbers like these it’s still a great healthier choice.


Robertson Winery is another estate that got onto the alcohol-free bandwagon quite early. They launched two sweet non-alcoholic sparklers, white and pink, as far back as 2012. The addition of their dry sparklers came much more recently. I am delighted to see that they are also starting to introduce nutritional labels on the back of their bottles.

I wrote about their dry sparkling white a few months ago. But what could be better than pink bubbles on Valentine’s Day? Their non-alcoholic Dry Sparkling Pink is refreshingly crisp and bursts with notes of Turkish Delight, cinnamon and strawberry.

Take a sip and these notes translate beautifully onto the palate, with the berry flavours especially pleasing. It is one of my favourite de-alcoholised pinks. The alcohol level of this one is also 0%. Sugar comes in at 1,72g per 100ml and carbs at 3,45g per 100ml. As for energy? Just 65kJ per 100ml. You could drink the entire bottle for about the same kilojoules at you’d find in a slice of bread. Now that’s just brilliant. Bottoms up!


About this article: I only write about places and things I actually really like. Should I receive complimentary meals/tickets/diamonds, this will always be revealed. I’m not in the rubbishing business, so if something is not my cup of tea, I’ll simply not write about it (but I’ll keep the diamonds). Therefore this is not so much a review, as a personal recommendation of places and things I like.


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