Whether you are embarking on a dry January (or any other sober month), you've given up drinking alcohol long term, or you want to try a weeknight glass of wine that will leave you feeling healthy and bright in the morning, alcohol-free wine pairings make an excellent way to end a night drinking a glass of your favorite wine without compromising on the quality of your experience. Not only are there ever more options for you to explore in the realm of these healthier non-alcoholic wines, but some of them beat out the competition on taste as well as the healthy experience.
After you've tasted a few of our non-alcoholic white wines, you will want to plan a menu around them immediately. But it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of finding the right pairing. Maybe you've heard someone say they want a red wine with a red meat, or a white with fish, but you've never been sure why. Perhaps you've heard that white wines tend to pair better with lighter fare, like seafood, white meats, and salads, but it all seems like a bit of a mystery. This post will help you think about the way certain foods and white wines can celebrate and accentuate each other, deepening the experience of both.
How to pair meals and wines
Pairing food and wine is all about how the acidity, palate, and flavors of the wine play with the food. Non-alcoholic wine has less of a burn than alcoholic wine, but that is about the only difference. The lower alcohol content mellows out the mouthfeel a bit, but any of our great non-alcoholic sauvignon options will retain all the flavors and complexity of their higher proof cousins.
So, you want to play by the same rules you would when pairing alcoholic wines: let the flavors of the wine mimic the food. Thus, a good non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc wine pairing would echo the zingy, tart flavors of the wine, without overwhelming them. Non-alcoholic wine works just as well in food pairings as alcoholic wine, because the wines we carry at Boisson have the same well-developed flavor profiles.
You can think about wine pairings like this: the lighter the color of the wine, the lighter the dish you should pair with it. So, if you're looking for an appetizer to go with a glass of wine, a non-alcoholic champagne would go well with some chevre and a crusty baguette, while red wines like a non-alcoholic pinot noir might pair well with skirt steak, sliced thin and skewered with roasted tomatoes.
Characteristics of a Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon blanc is made with the same grapes as cabernet sauvignon, but without the additional tannins and full body generated by adding the skin of the grapes back into the mixture during the fermentation process. Thus, sauvignon blanc has the dry depth of a cab sauv, but it is light and crisp enough that it pairs beautifully with with the food we tend to gravitate towards in spring and summer. It is like the lemon shortbread of the wine world –– it's tangy, buttery, not too sweet, and something to reach for when you want something bright and complex.
The main flavors of non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc are citrus forward, including fresh lime, with fruits like green apple, grapefruit, passion fruit, and peach. It will be crisp and fruity, but a sauvignon is never too heavy on the sugar. There are notes of lemon, and sometimes it evokes the scent of freshly cut grass, as well as bell peppers, and it finishes with a buttery taste. (Alcohol-free wines have the same flavor profile you'd find in the alcoholic version.)
With non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc, the flavors work best with rich, herbaceous, tangy, and creamy food. So, think about soft, ripened cheeses, seafood, spicy food, poultry, and summery salads.
A note on serving: non-alcoholic white wine is best chilled, like its alcoholic counterpart, and this is especially true of sauvignon blanc. Because it is among the drier non-alcoholic wines, it works well in a white sangria; it can take the sugar and fruity additions of a classic sangria recipe without becoming saccharine.
Appetizers to Pair with Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc
Soft cheeses with crackers, like brie or camembert on a water cracker or flatbread, work well with the dry notes of a sauvignon blanc. Feta and chevre, both a bit tangier, are complemented by the zing of a non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc, but given the slightly salty and sharp notes of these cheeses, the addition of a fig or tomato jam balances out the palate beautifully.
The fresh, bright, crisp flavors of a greek salad complement this non-alcoholic white wine beautifully. Full of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives (the brighter green the better!), feta, and onions mellowed in lemon, a Greek salad definitely imitates the complexity and brightness of an easygoing wine like Lautus's Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc.
If you are into spicy food, you can try a chimichurri spread on sourdough with the floral and citrus notes of Surely's NA sauv blanc. A good chimichurri, which is like a pesto made of a wider variety of herbs, has a sharp kick from the shallots, garlic, parsley, cilantro, vinegar, and jalapeno. Spread some on a slice of fresh sourdough, sip your drink, and you will be sampling the food of the gods.
Main Courses to Go With NA Sauvignon Blanc
Nothing too rich or sweet will work as a food pairing with these wines. Instead, think about the meals you gravitate towards as the weather warms, when there is still a light breeze in the air, and you need a jacket to sit out on the porch with your glass of wine in the evening.
Shrimp scampi with baby peas or snow peas are a great food pairing for this non-alcoholic wine because the delicacy of the shrimp, sauteed in aromatics like garlic and shallots, is complemented by the wine without being overwhelmed by them. Enjoy a sip or two from your glass as you cook, but don't forget to toss a splash of your sauv blanc in the pan to deglaze and reduce! Throw the veggies in after you've sauteed everything else for an easy, delicious, healthy sauce. If you go for this deal, you'll have enough Giesen to drink and cook with!
We have the basic rule that in order to go well with wine, food must mimic the flavors and lightness of the wine. So, fettuccine alfredo with scallops and a salad goes well with sauvignon blanc because the buttery, creamy flavors of the alfredo go well with the wine, as the notes of lemon go well with the scallops. Adding a salad with a fruity vinaigrette completes the experience.
Like chimichurri, pesto works beautifully with non-alcoholic wine like sauvignon blanc. A traditional pesto on pasta is great, but salmon, crusted in pesto with asparagus, is particularly excellent, because it has the body and complexity to keep up with the herby spiciness of a pesto as well as the heartiness of a salmon. The cabernet sauvignon grapes that make these wines so rich turn them into a wonderful complement to a salmon dish.
Fish tacos with a lime and mango salsa work well with this non-alcoholic wine for similar reasons: the lime and mango mimic the fruity flavors of the wine, so drinking it with the tacos emphasizes the common flavors, while the fish has the same delicacy as the wine.
Lemon and salt roasted chicken is a delicious way to brighten up a traditionally heavy meal, and it pairs wonderfully with fruity wines. It's deceptively simple: salt the cavity of a chicken with sea salt, and then slice a lemon, and put it inside. Dry and butter the skin, and then salt that as well. Roast as you usually would, and you'll find that the lemon flavor pervades the chicken so well that the wine pairing works brilliantly. Toss it into a chicken salad and take it for a picnic with a few cans of non-alcoholic wine!
Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blancs to choose from
Geisen is one of those wines you'll keep coming back to as an aperitif or with a light meal. It balances creamy dishes with its buttery finish, but it is light enough for a Greek salad or grilled asparagus.
Leitz x Boisson Blanc is delicate, clean, and bright. Pair it with fresh, fruity salads and cheese with jams.
Lautus Sauvignon Blanc has a tropical and fruity finish. It pairs well with light veggies but is substantial enough to do well with salmon or chicken as well.
Surely has floral and fruity notes that make it an excellent pairing for something herbaceous, like a pesto or a salad, but also for something heavier, like a fish dish.
Buzzkill is juicy and bright, great for easy drinking and is a perfect counterpart for something spicy.
Thomson & Scott Blanc has delightful citrus and apple notes. It pairs well with salads with light vinaigrettes.