Love it or hate it, Christmas is here. To each, the holiday season means something different: it might be the annual blizzard that suddenly shuts down the city; the sense of guilt about poorly chosen last-minute gifts; the nervous tick from hearing the Nutcracker scores everywhere; or simply electricity bills that’d cause even Santa to wince… but there’s one thing about it that we’d all align on — Christmas is an incredibly busy time. If you set a goal to navigate yuletide in sober mode but feel overwhelmed and ready to bail already, don’t give up on it yet. To ease the pain of preparations and help you finally kick off your holiday planning, we’ve selected a definitive list of best non-alcoholic Champagne and its little cousin non-alcoholic sparkling wine alternatives — drinks synonymous with celebration. But first, how did it come about that we drink Champagne to mark special occasions?
Why we celebrate with Champagne
It turns out, the bubbles that we love so much these days were previously a winemaker’s nightmare. Dubbed le vin du diable, or ‘the devil's wine,’ a few centuries ago, bottles with Champagne would spontaneously shatter, causing vintners to go to cellars wearing iron masks to protect their face from shards of glass. A tradition sadly lost — who would refuse such a mask these days, at this chilling moment when one of your friends, while trying to pull off the spectacle of sending a cork flying across the room, inexplicably aims a bottle at you. All that is left is praying.
Drinking The Stars
Speaking of which, there goes a legend of Dom Pierre Perignon, a French monk, who ostensibly invented the drink and then famously declared: ‘Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!’ In fact, sparkling wine existed long before that, and what Dom Perignon actually did was spend a fair share of time trying to remove the bubbles out of sparkling wine, to lessen the effect of refermentation. They didn’t have Shark Tank back then but somehow understood the importance of storytelling, so everyone agreed to let the legend slide.
Royal Status Symbol
Nevertheless, Dom Perignon did significantly contribute to the development and popularization of Champagne. By the beginning of the next century, partly through his efforts, the effervescent drink was so loved by the French crown, that Ludovic XV passed a few laws regulating what can and cannot be labeled as Champagne. In 1728, he granted the city of Reims — today’s unofficial capital of Champagne in France — exclusive permission to trade in bottled Champagne.
Royal support made it a hit amongst aristocracy, and the pricey drink gained the fame of a coveted status symbol. As if having legions of servants was not enough to prove one’s superiority, royals and nobles rushed to stock up on those devil’s bottles, making Champagne a frequent guest at court parties, coronations and ceremonies of national significance — a guest which only the rich and top elites could afford to enjoy.
Just a few decades later, in 1790, the drink made an appearance at Fête de la Fédération — a massive holiday festival held throughout France to celebrate the French revolution. Wines from the Champagne region were the only ones used to mark the end of the revolution and toast to national unity. After the revolution, the drink became a part of certain secular rituals that replaced formerly religious acts. To christen a ship — an age-old tradition believed to bring good luck and safe travel to the vessel, many started using the 'holy water' of Champagne, instead of inviting a priest. One just needed to smash a bottle over a new vessel, and that’s it — the ship’s blessed. The drink came to be opened at weddings, baptisms, and other religious events.
With the advent of industrialization, nobility, previously considered the wealthiest tier of sparkling wine consumers, lost their rank. Manufacturers of Champagne swiftly switched their focus to the newly emerged class of well-off entrepreneurs and remarketed sparkling wine as the drink of the ambitious. But even this new segment of customers could not afford imbibing the wine on a daily basis, though they were willing to splurge in case of a special occasion. Soon, with a little more advertising, they were buying the bubbly for every holiday, and Champagne became the indispensable celebratory beverage for all occasions — from weddings and anniversaries to… Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
If this Christmas season you want to be part of the holiday fun without turning into a Grinch the morning after, go ahead and pick any of these delicious NYE Bubbles below.
With one of the co-founders coming from the Taittinger family, French Bloom pairs the best of French wine with an art de vivre centered around wellness: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical balance. Le Rosé is an elegant, celebratory serve, in which organic French grapes from Southwest France come together in a pleasantly pink, hard to resist palate. Beyond its graceful bottling and taste, we should also note Le Rosé is organic, Halal-certified, free of sulfites, and low in sugar. For as much as it leaves out, Le Rosé offers even more: depth of flavor, sensational acidity, fine bubbles, and a bottle that practically begs to be gifted.
Established in Copenhagen in 2018, the ISH vision is driven by the desire to pair mindfulness with playfulness. The Château del ISH Sparkling White is a crisp blend of Pinot Blanc and Silvaner Grape varieties. The rich, acidic nature of Pinot Blanc complements the structured, earthy tones of the cool-climate Silvaner in an altogether refreshing, medium-sweet sparkling serve. Taste-wise, its glistening, pale gold hue and honey bouquet precede a demi-sec body with notes of citrus, green apple, pear, and peach complete with a refreshing acidity and soft bubbles.
Pale and crystalline, this sparkling wine will let you see tomorrow сlearly. Based in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Lussory is an innovator in the world of non-alcoholic wines. The Organic Brut is made with Airen grapes sourced from Spanish vineyards full of soft, fruity flavors and citrusy aromas, and its dry mouthfeel and fine bubbles create a delicate finish, making for an authentic champagne substitute.
One girl, two cups — this Guiltless Cheers bundle featuring the Noughty alcohol-free sparkling Chardonnay and a set of two Ferm Living Champagne saucers is great for two, but even better for one. When the morning comes, and you realize that the only proper Champagne glass is sitting dirty in the sink, you’ll have another one, clean and ready for another pour of your beloved effervescent liquid. Isn’t that a holiday miracle?
If you’re hosting this season, we now offer a variety of non-alcoholic sparkling wine holiday bundles to ensure that every one of your sober-curious friends has something to sip when the clock strikes midnight. The House Mix Bundle featuring a mix of twelve of our top-selling sparkling white wines, saves you up to 10% off and ensures your guests’ joy on the holiday night as a bonus.