Wine is crafted from fermented grape juice. The variety of grapes and the way vines are cultivated make for subtle differences from wine to wine, affecting color, taste, and even how a sip feels in your mouth.
If you’re among wine lovers, you’ve likely developed preferences for wines that you like and wines that you avoid. However, there are plenty of people who just don’t like wine.
Whether you’re sober curious, or just haven’t found a wine you like yet, we’ve rounded up the 16 best varieties of wine for people who don’t like wine.
Why do some people dislike wine?
What are some reasons why people may not like wine? Reasons why people may not like wine include the unique taste of wine and the alcohol content. Some people also dislike wine because:
- They’ve had bad experiences with wine
- They haven’t found a wine style they like
- Their taste preferences have changed
- They’re trying to avoid the calories in wine
- They’re trying to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
If you’re a person who just doesn’t get why wine is so popular, it may just be that you haven’t found your favorite yet. Or perhaps, the options just feel overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! We’ll walk you through each category to help you find your perfect match.
What To Know About Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine is associated with celebrations or relaxing moments on a patio. It’s the classic toast wine, served at weddings, graduations, and more. The effervescent quality also makes it popular in warmer months.
If you know you already like beer, cider, or seltzers, sparkling wines may offer a similar experience. Sparkling wine is best served chilled, so keep it on ice after that first pour.
What To Know About White Wine
What would be the best type of wine for people who don't like wine? White or rosé wines are widely considered the best type of wine for people who don’t like wine.
White wine is lighter in body, and it’s easier to find fruity, sweet, and crisp varieties, all flavor profiles that tend to be easier on a developing wine palate.
It’s best served chilled, like sparkling wine, and a little lower in calories than red wines.
What To Know About Rosé Wine
Rosé has been having a moment lately — you’ve likely seen it on a t-shirt or Instagram post. Most wine drinkers’ knowledge about this one is limited to its signature pink hue.
What are the ingredients in wine? The main ingredients for wine are the same across the board: fermented grapes. The variety and blend of grapes in a wine determine its flavor, color, tannin content, and mouthfeel.
With rosé, the flavor can vary depending on the grapes used, but you’ll know it’s a rosé from the pink color swirling in your glass. A higher-quality rosé will usually get its color from the amount of contact with the skins of red grapes used in the wine-making process.
The juice is then removed — timing will depend on the winemaker and how pink they’d like their final product to be — for the rest of the fermentation process.
Rosé is best served chilled in the fridge, then allowed to slowly return to room temperature for about 20 minutes before that first pour. If you’re looking for a sweeter variety, go for a pink dessert wine. A traditional French rosé will be drier.
What To Know About Red Wine
Red wine is more popular with people who do like drinking wine. It is not the best place to start if you’re trying to find a more approachable style.
Red wines like a Bordeaux from France are more often dry, full-bodied, with a stronger taste. They’re lower in acidity but higher in alcohol content, which means a glass of wine in this category goes a long way.
They’re also full of tannins, those compounds that give you both the boost of antioxidants many like about wine, but also a dry, bitter aftertaste for some.
4 Best Sparkling Wines
Sparkling wines are an excellent entry point for those who don’t like wine. Those chilled bubbles are approachable for your taste buds and the sweetness is a nice perk as well.
Best For Taste Without A Buzz
- Alcohol-removed sparkling wine: If you’re looking for celebratory bubbles without the alcohol, try a non-alcoholic sparkling white. It’s made in the style of traditional champagne, just without the potential hangover.
- Italian prosecco: Prosecco is the fruitier cousin of traditional champagne. It has a lower alcohol content and fewer calories than both white and red wine styles.
Best For Something Sweet
White wines are known as being sweeter than reds, but if you’re looking for a little sweet fizz, you have options:
- Asti spumante: Italian Asti spumante, or Asti, undergoes a single fermentation process that allows this sparkling variety to retain its signature sweetness.
- Demi-sec champagne: A demi-sec champagne is a style of sparkling wine that is sweeter than a brut or dry sparkling variety. You’ll see winemakers incorporate hints of almond, fruit, even honey into this varietal to bump up the sweet bubble flavor even further.
5 Best White Wines
White wine varietals are so diverse, but one thing they have in common is a more pleasing mouth feel if you’re not used to drinking wine.
Best For Sweeter Tastes
If you’re seeking something sweet, there is a white wine out there for you:
- Riesling: This is one of the sweeter white wines out there, with fruit flavors like apricot and pear that give it a touch of acidity and balance.
- Moscato: This sweet wine from Italy comes from the Muscat grape. While it often comes in white, some varieties are sparkling, pink, even approaching red. The dessert wine varieties of Moscato will give you the sweetness you’re after.
- Chardonnay: A dry Chardonnay will be more acidic and fruit-forward, but full-oaked varieties can be buttery, nutty, even give off hints of vanilla.
Best For Low-Calorie Sipping
Dry white wines will usually have fewer calories and less residual sugar than sweeter white wines. Overall, almost all white wines contain fewer calories per ounce than red wine.
If you’re looking to cut wine drinking based on calories alone, choose from the options below:
- Sauvignon blanc: A sauvignon blanc is a popular summertime wine due to its tart, fruity flavors like grapefruit and green apple. Surely has a low-calorie, non-alcoholic version if you’re looking for something light without the buzz. A generous 8 oz pour of our white wine has only 40 calories!
- Viognier: This crisp addition to the world of wine is a blend of two grapes with notes of stonefruit. It’s similar in calories to a sauvignon blanc, with less acidity than other white wines like pinot grigio.
3 Best Rosé Wines
Sometimes sweet, sometimes dry, rosé is the fun, flirty wine varietal. While the flavor profile can vary, you’ll know it by its signature pink color. This color is achieved by contact with grape skins, not by a particular grape.
Best For Versatility
Due to the broad range of grapes that are used in different rosé wines, there’s likely a rosé out there no matter what flavor profile you’re going for:
- White Zinfandel: The name can be confusing, but white zinfandel is considered more rosé than white for its dry notes and pink color. It’s most popular in California, as the original came from Sutter Home Winery.
- French-style rosés: Much like French red wine, a French rosé will be on the dry side. If you’d like a low-calorie, alcohol-removed version, Surely’s rosé is the perfect choice.
Best For Fizzy Fun
If you’re looking for a special occasion beverage, sparkling rosé is a great option that keeps the pink and adds some fizz:
- Sparkling rosé: Light and fruity, sparkling rosé is particularly popular in the summer months or for celebrations. The sparkling rosé from Surely retains the flavor of a delicious California rosé with the addition of vibrant bubbles, sans alcohol. It’s perfect for a sober September.
4 Best Red Wines
The traditional red wines you’ll see out there are considered less approachable if you’re already coming to wine drinking with a bad taste in your mouth.
There are some options out there that are a little easier on a developing palate, though.
Best For Something Fruity
Red wine doesn’t have to be bold and in-your-face. There are more subtle, even sweet varieties that are fruit-forward:
- Brachetto d’Acqui: This sweet red wine from Piedmont, Italy, has a raspberry aftertaste that makes it a classic pairing with chocolate desserts. This one is also semi-sparkling, so it’s a good option for date nights or after-dinner drinks.
- Lambrusco: When fermented to dolce, or very sweet, Italian Lambrusco resembles a mixed berry beverage more than you’d consider red wine. It can also come in a dry wine, so read the labels on this one unless you’d like something more subtle.
Best For Low Tannins
Red wines like cabernet sauvignon are known for tannins, a compound that non-wine drinkers often get turned off by for their puckering effects.
If you’re looking for red wines that are lower on the tannins, try these:
- Pinot noir: Pinot noir is often considered the gateway red wine. It’s a lighter, less dry red wine with relatively low tannins compared to other reds.
- Beaujolais Nouveau: Specific to the Beaujolais region of France, this is a popular holiday wine, meaning you’re only likely to find it available around Christmastime. This variety is best served chilled.
Honorable Red Wine Mentions
Reds have a vast range of depth and flavor. If you want a more robust blend as you start enjoying red wine, try:
- Shiraz: This fruity, full-bodied blend also has a bit of spice, with notes of black pepper and smoke. This grape is also called syrah in some regions of the world.
- Merlot: This is a dry, fuller-bodied wine with a high tannin content. It’s often paired with the main course in fine dining. However, its tannins make it a wine you should ease into, not start with.
Surely: impeccable wine without any alcohol.
Some people don’t like drinking wine because they’re cutting back on their alcohol. It’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol can lead to a range of health problems, weaken your immune system, and lead to alcohol dependency.
If you’re looking to have fun without alcohol, want to quit drinking for your health, or just don’t love how you feel after too much alcohol, there are non-alcoholic options for you to explore that will still satisfy your tastebuds.
Surely is alcohol-removed, but with the same taste of great wine. It’s crafted in California by expert winemakers, and it shows. Our varieties are of the approachable sort, too, if you’re looking for lighter sips on top of alcohol moderation. Shop now to taste our thoughtful approach to wine.