Remember when I did a dry January? I do, all too clearly. Anyway, the thing I found tough was not the not drinking so much as finding something non-alcoholic and interesting to drink in the evenings. Given that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a glass of wine, it’s surprisingly difficult to find an alcohol-free, vaguely grown up equivalent. So the seed was sown and this week I’ve been reading the final proof of my new book, Teetotal Tipples. It’s full of booze-less mocktails to make at home along with the best alcohol-free wines. And the last part of the book is all about new wines to try on your non-dry days. It’s out on December 15th but you can pre-order a copy here. I can’t wait to show you the cover (not yet finalised but loving the look) and hear what you think.

Also, I must tell you about another book that a friend of mine, Jerry Lockspeiser, has written called Your Wine Questions Answered. It’s a great read and what’s more, all profits go towards building schools in Sierra Leone. Proof that wine does good.

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Current white in the fridge: La Biancara Masieri Garganega

Price: £14.50 - Buy From Organic Wine Club

This was sent to me by a relatively new online wine retailer called the Organic Wine Club. Unsurprisingly, they specialise in organic wines but they also do biodynamic (think super-organic) and sulphur free wines. Now, sulphur is often blamed for wine hangovers but the levels in wine are actually pretty low compared with lots of other food and drink products. But still, for those who might be allergic, sulphur free wines are a sensible option. They do taste different to conventional wines: most commonly with white wines I get a real whiff of baked apples. And they can be slightly spritz-y. But if you don’t mind baked apples and a touch of spritz, this is a lovely natural wine. Made from the Garganega grape, it’s deliciously light in alcohol too, at just 11.5%. A side of pork scratchings would be perfect.

Current red in the rack: Tesco Finest Swartland Malbec

Price: £6.00 - Buy From Tesco

Malbec has become Argentina’s most famous vinous export even though its original roots are in France. But turns out it travels rather well, here showing what it can do in South African soil. Rather more gutsy than some of the juicier Argentinian ones, this is all black cherry fruits, spice, grip and grrr. It’s a bargain at £6 and until 20th September, you can get two for £10. Autumn was made for wine like this. Try with sausages & mash.


  • 7 years ago

    Sulphur free wines sound great – I am pretty much allergic to the stuff. (My American spellcheck is desperately trying to change it to “sulfur”.)

    • Helen McGinn
      7 years ago

      Definitely worth a try but you usually have to pay a bit more for them…

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