What Wine Tastes the Least Like Alcohol? Your Complete Guide

It’s tough. You’re feeling like a grown up now, beyond just the beers you throw back with friends, probably passed the point of tossing back shots, and you’ve noticed how much people enjoy their days out at wineries. You’ve tried wine, but just can’t get past the (sometimes) bitter, acidic alcohol taste.

On the other hand, if you’re a vintner, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a growing appetite for more drinkable wine, at least amongst certain categories of people.

Rest assured.

If you’ve been wondering what wine tastes the least like alcohol, you’re not alone.


From the beginning, wine was not a heavily alcoholic drink. Sure, it has more alcohol than beer, but that is just a product of naturally occurring sugars.

You see, beer is made from grain, which is high in starch. Barley or wheat must first be roasted, or kilned, to convert the starches in the grain to sugars. Then the grain must be cracked or ground to expose those sugars.

Next, the grain is boiled in water and steeped for period of time, to release the sugars into the water.

Finally, yeast is introduced to the final liquid (now called wort), and the yeast gets to work doing what it has done on earth for millions of years – convert sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide.

That’s a lot of work for a beer that ends up with only around 5% ABV. But it’s because the yeast does not have a ton of sugar to work with in the first place.

In fact, some brewers actually add sugar to the wort to increase the amount of alcohol the yeast can produce.

Wine is a different story.

Wine comes from a fruit that is already high in sugar – grapes.

Grapes, in fact, could really make wine on their own.

Indeed, anthropologists have noted several primate species in nature that wait for fruit to ripen and ferment on the tree or vine and then eat it to the point of drunkenness.

Because the sugars in grapes are naturally occurring, the yeast has much more to work with, so it produces much more alcohol.

The average alcohol content of wine is around 11% ABV.

Grapes are grown, harvested, and crushed. The resulting juice is then combined with yeast. The yeast have a happy sugar party and turn all that sugar into wine.

Like with beer, some vintners will add more sugar to increase the alcohol content.

And other vintners will actually add distilled alcohol to the wine to preserve it for longer, add new elements of flavor and aroma, and, of course, increase the alcohol content.

If you’re looking for wine that does not taste alcohol, there are a few tricks to employ.

How to Find Wine without that Alcohol Taste

1.     Look at the ABV

The first and most obvious way to avoid that alcohol taste in wine is to look at the ABV on the bottle. Some great wines are under 10% and you can barely taste the alcohol. Over 13% you’ll notice the alcohol taste pretty much regardless of the quality of the wine.

Also pay close attention to whether distilled alcohol has been added to the wine. If it has, even a dessert wine will taste strongly of alcohol.

2.     Try Cheaper, Fruitier, Sparkling Wines

Like most young people who start experimenting with wine, you can try out the bottom shelf, fruity wines that taste like juice. Wines like Arbor Mist or Boone’s Farm usually have a ton of sugar and high fructose corn syrup added after fermentation, which makes them much sweeter and cuts down on the alcohol flavor.

If you’re looking for something more healthy, less sugary, but still not with strong alcohol flavor, you can try the range of sparkling wines, which, red, white, or pink, are usually much lighter on the alcohol flavor, and lower in alcohol content.

3.     For Good Quality Wines Start with White

For those interested in higher quality wines that don’t smack of alcohol flavor, you can start with a white wine like Reisling or Moscato, which tend to be naturally sweeter without the addition of sugar, but they are not heavy like a strong dessert wine will be.

So, if you’re out with friends, and you’re trying wines, you can ask for a Riesling or Moscato and expect to still be treated as a respectable wine drinker.

4.     When You’re Ready, Move to Red

Once you’ve established a palate for wine with whites, you can move to reds. Again, the grape will matter, as some are naturally sweeter. Opt for Malbecs, Syrahs, and Shirazes, which tend to be sweeter. You can also try blends, but many people, for whatever reason, complain that blends give them a headache. So be mindful of this.

Wines to Try

While you’re establishing your palate for wine, check out the options below to allow yourself a taste of a variety of brands and styles.

1.     Barefoot Refresh Moscato Spritzer

A Moscato and a spritzer? You can’t go wrong with this one. This wine even comes in individual cans, so you don’t have to worry about polishing off your bottle in a week before it goes bad.

2.     Pop + Fizz Sparkling Rose

Another canned option, rose is always a good choice for low alcohol flavor. This one’s got a juice, sweet flavor reminiscent of ripe fruit.

3.     Firefly Ridge Pinot Grigio

Firefly is a respectable brand, and this Pinot Grigio is easy on the palate with a pear-like aftertaste.

4.     Wagner Riesling Ice Wine

Seriously, it’s really hard to go wrong with a Riesling, and this one is at the top of its game.

5.     Witching Hour Red Blend

A sweet but not sugary blend that hints of cherry and vanilla, Witching Hour will make you love red wine.

In the end, you will have to try a lot of wines before you find your favorite, of course. But, hey, you can have a lot of fun along the way.


Passionate about the beer and/or wine making process? So are we! If you’re interested in finding out how you can use our technology to control fermentation and monitor your yeast, save work hours and improve the cost-efficiency of your business, drop us a line at sales@oculyze.net or check out our product pages:


  1. https://jackyblisson.com/alcohol-content-of-wine/
  2. https://wineonmytime.com/8-wines-that-dont-taste-like-alcohol/
  3. https://drinkstack.com/wine/wine-for-people-who-dont-like-wine/
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