Drink Wine Day is looming, and although the tradition is an American one, that
wouldn’t have stopped you back in the day, right? Any excuse to pop the vino (the
fact it falls on a Friday would’ve been enough, so it’s a double whammy).
So, what do you do as a sober, or sober curious person when calendar days like this
emerge to test you?
The good news is, you have options – and we’re here for you every step of the way.
When is Drink Wine Day 2022?
First things first, let’s clarify when Drink Wine Day takes place.
Drink Wine Day 2022 falls on Friday, 18 February 2022, and its origins are unclear.
Needless to say, you’d previously have thrown yourself into the festivities whole-
heartedly, but now you’re left wondering whether to curl under your duvet or grin and
Now you’re sober, or sober curious, it may be tempting to ignore holidays like this.
And you absolutely can, if that works best for you.
In the early days of sobriety especially, you have to do whatever feels best and gets
you through the tough times – whether that’s sleeping for an entire weekend, diving
headfirst into a box of donuts, or chanting on top of a mountain.
However, you also have the opportunity to embrace days like this in your newly
sober way, and turn them into positive experiences, rather than ones you’d rather
forget thanks to embarrassing memories and traumatising hangxiety.
After all, just like you’d always find an excuse to drink in your old life, you’ll always
find a hurdle to overcome in your new way of living if you see things that way,
because alcohol doesn’t suddenly disappear because you’ve gone your separate
So, if you decide to flip the script and throw yourself into Drink Wine Day 2022 the
sober way, read on for tips on how to do it in style.
Should you drink alcohol-free wine and beer when you’re sober?
Listen, there’s no right or wrong answer to this.
This is YOUR journey, and it looks however you want it to look.
Lots of people like to sample low or no alcohol drinks in their early days of sobriety,
as they feel like it scratches that itch better than a sparkling water.
Plus, there’s only so many Diet Cokes you can guzzle on a night out, am I right?
Some of these people gradually ease off the alcohol-free bevs as they settle into
sober life, while others keep them as their go-to tipples.
A lot of us like having the option to grab a bottle of Nozeco for a special occasion, so
we don’t have to miss out on a toast at Christmas or a boomerang on girls’ night.
For others, alcohol-free beer and wine feel too triggering when they’re beginning
their sober journey, so they find it easier to avoid them altogether.
You know yourself, so choose the route that best suits you and your new lifestyle.
Should you still celebrate with AF alternatives?
It just so happens this particular national day lands on our founder, Hannah’s birthday.
Here’s what she thinks of it…
“I always thought it was wonderfully convenient that National Drink Wine Day landed on my birthday, like it was meant to be. I was always destined to be a lover of wine.
I’m not sure I ever needed an extra excuse to open a bottle of wine but it would have been rude not to on my birthday of all days, right?
But was it a celebration of wine itself? No.
It was just an excuse to drink copious amounts of it – whether it was ‘Wine Wednesday’
or led to a ‘Sunday Sesh’.
Wine was always ‘my drink’ and when I broke up with booze it was something I struggled to find a decent alternative for back in 2019. I appreciate AF alternatives aren’t for everyone but they supported my early sobriety journey.
I should warn you if you are trying to find a substitute of your favourite tipple, especially if it was wine, that you’re likely to be disappointed. Admittedly there are some much better AF wines around nowadays compared to when I was first testing them though.
To kick my habit of coming home and cracking open a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the fridge, I decided to opt for sipping Nosecco instead. I think it was the ceremony of popping the bottle, pouring into a stemmed glass and the bubbles feeling like an adult drink (that wasn’t coke or lemonade) that helped me transition from drinking daily to keeping it for special occasions now.
This year I will likely celebrate my birthday (and National Drink Wine Day) with some sort of
AF fizz – it is my 30th after all!
However, it’s no longer something I think to or feel the need to buy for myself.
The amount of bottles I get bought now for my birthday has significantly decreased now I no longer drink, however many of my friends and family support my sober lifestyle and make the effort to source AF ones for me, which means a lot!
Cheers to inclusivity and choice!”
Which alcohol-free wine tastes most realistic?
As Hannah mentioned, the first thing to say about alcohol-free wine is this.
If you’re expecting it to taste like the real thing, you’re probably going to be
While AF beers can taste similar to their boozy counterparts, it’s not the same
experience with AF wines.
Polling our Insta audience, the faves that cropped up were mostly alcohol-free fizz –
and we think there are two reasons for this.
One is that low or no alcohol prosecco and cava tastes closer to the genuine article
than other types of wine – those bubbles go a long way towards recreating a similar
Secondly, we wondered whether the popularity of AF fizz was partly out of necessity.
You may be happy to snuggle up with your cup of tea at home, but when it comes to
a meal out or a party you want to feel like you “fit in” more with a glass of something
(Sidenote: of course, you shouldn’t ever feel you need alcohol to fit in. And if you’re
being made to feel that way, it may be time to reassess some of your relationships,
but that’s another story for another day. Hopefully, you understand what we mean
above: often, whether it makes you or other people feel better, the easiest thing is to
grab a substitute and join in.)
Chatting about this before writing the blog, a couple of us sober butterflies realised
we’d gravitated to a different colour of wine in our sobriety. Possibly, because it
tasted more “realistic” when we were less used to the taste of the original, or it felt
“safer”, so this is another thing to consider.
Red wines especially will never be replicated exactly in terms of their depth and
body. And although the ethanol (alcohol) in wine has no taste, it generates a certain
heat and feeling in the mouth and throat that AF options don’t.
Top tip: The lovely Merlot Free Melody on Instagram recommends warming your AF
red wine by the fire or near the radiator to add to the overall experience.
As long as you appreciate low or no alcohol wine won’t taste exactly like “real” wine,
and decide to enjoy it for what it is, there are some fantastic options out there for you
Which are the best alcohol-free wines?
So, if you decide to grab a bottle this Drink Wine Day, here are our top tipples.
From the west coast of South Africa, Darling Cellars produces a selection of AF
wines our sober butterflies love.
Fresh and fruity, the Sauvignon Blanc 0.5% white and the de-alcoholised Shiraz are
favourites, and both are vegan-friendly. Buy online here.
König and Krieger
One of our butterflies picked up a bottle of König and Krieger’s alcohol-free Cabernet
Sauvignon at the Manchester Christmas markets, as well as their Riesling.
Both come highly recommended, and you can pick them up online here.
Sainsbury’s Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine
This 0.05% fizz is a hit with the sober crew, and it’s a bargain at £2.75. Pick it up on
your next shop or order here.
Belle & Co Alcohol-Free Sparkling Brut
Combining fermented grape juice with a green tea infusion, this sparkling wine is an
affordable alternative to your favourite fizz.
It’s also vegan-friendly. Buy it here.
Unlike other AF options, Nozeco is described as “nice and dry” by one of our trusted
Instagram followers, who picks it up in her local Co-op.
Vegan-friendly, it contains less than 0.5% of alcohol and you can stock up with a
case of six bottles here.
Fre Sutter Home Merlot Alcohol-Free Red Wine
Those partial to a decadent glass of red will love this smooth, sophisticated AF
alternative. Grab it online or in-store at Asda for a budget-friendly £3.20.
Noughty Alcohol-Free Sparkling Chardonnay
For a special occasion (whether that’s a big event or a tough Tuesday), Noughty
offers us an alcohol-free, organic, halal, and vegan Chardonnay that’s got none of
the booze and less of the sugar of your former fizz.
Better still, makers Thomson & Scott offset the carbon footprint of every bottle sold,
so it’s a sustainable choice that leaves both your head and conscience clear. Find out more here.
Or why not give the Rose version a try, available here.
Freixenet 0.0% Sparkling Rosé
Widely available in your local Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Asda, Freixenet’s 0.0% rosé
cava offers all of the bubbles and none of the bad decisions that can come hand-in-
hand with the alcohol-filled alternative.
As the days get longer and BBQs and beer gardens beckon, this may well become
your new best friend to sail through the summer feeling fresh and in control.
Find your AF wine drinking buddies
Whether your sober adventures are just beginning, or you’re celebrating longer term
sobriety, you need the right people around you to feel good about yourself and the
incredible choice you’ve made to enjoy a brighter future.
Follow Sober Butterfly Collective on Instagram to find your sober network and
prepare to discover a whole new type of socialising and support to empower you
through your new lifestyle.
And remember – you don’t need alcohol to add sparkle to your life 😉