A glass of sparkling wine on a summer’s day or to celebrate a special occasion signals fun, happiness, sunshine and – quite possibly – gorgeous people dressed in pastels.
I used to buy into that bullshit because it was marketed so well.
In fact, sparkling wine is so synonymous with good times that I would often use the champagne bottle emoji when sending a congratulatory text.
Even if the announcement was about a pregnancy – a time when women are cautioned to stay off the booze – the champagne bottle or clinking glasses would seem appropriate for the news. It’s as ridiculous as sending emojis of soft cheeses and shellfish (other no-gos for pregnant women)!
The reality of actually drinking sparkling wine for me was less glamourous than the glossy advertising promised. Who’d have thought advertisers were selling us a fantasy?
In my (alcohol) drinking days, if I had more than a couple of glasses of champagne, I would wake up with a cracking headache the next day.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I stopped at two glasses of bubbles. I would just revert to my drink of choice – sauvignon blanc. While that also tended to give me headaches, I wouldn’t stop at two. I realise my logic was flawed but that was how my distorted thinking played out when I was drinking. Logic did not get a look in.
Since choosing to ditch booze I’ve been trying various alcohol-free drinks to find some good substitutes.
And alcohol companies are coming to the (sober) party too. They are seeing the increase in the alcohol-free market and, where there is demand, savvy organisations will fill it.
One of them is Australian wine company McGuigan Wines which produces the McGuigan Zero range – alcohol free Shiraz, Sparkling, Rosé, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The McGuigan sparkling is now one of my go-to drinks. I take it to friends’ places when we’re having drinks and I often open a bottle on a weekend so that I can have a drink with my partner when he cracks open a beer or pours a glass of red.
The McGuigan Zero sparkling pours like a champers – bubbles and froth – and tastes crisp and light. It even has a champagne cork so you have the pleasure of popping the cork.
I drink it on its own in a beautiful flute or pop in a strawberry when feeling like a bit of a summer taste. It’s also good mixed with sparkling mineral water for a spritzer.
While I am quite happy drinking soda water with lime or a nice kombucha, sometimes it’s just nice when you’re having drinks with other people to feel like you’re having an ‘adult’ drink.
And the best part of having an alcohol-free sparkling – or any other alcohol-free drink – is that you remember everything about the night and embrace the next day without a hangover.
Cheers to that!
Note: This post isn’t sponsored – it is my honest review of McGuigan Zero Alcohol Sparkling.