The trouble with soft drink alternatives is that they're very high in sugar, calories and let's face it, they don't look very sophisticated on the dining table, do they? So I was keen to try alcohol free wine.
To drinkers of wine the words 'alcohol free wine' must sound the same as 'meat free mince' does to me - but hear me out! Swapping your glass of wine for this stuff could save you loads of calories and it wont interfere with your metabolism, sleep or energy levels in the way that alcohol would. It also won't aggravate conditions such as PCOS or hinder fertility.
For me personally, cutting out alcohol all them years ago was a game changer. I cut my calorie intake by 2/3rds at the weekends by swapping to soft drinks or water and without changing anything else about my diet I lost 10lbs in the first month.
With the exception of the morning after a family wedding two and a half year ago, I never again lost a weekend to nursing a hangover, or that groggy lethargic feeling. I also saved an awful lot of money by making the swap.
I certainly wasn't addicted to alcohol, but it had become a social habit. I'd drink with family meals, whenever I'd go out with friends at the weekend and even in the middle of the day in the university bar when lectures were over. When I first cut alcohol out, I was ridiculed by many friends (until the weight started coming off, that is!) and was frequently asked if I was pregnant.
I've never understood why it upsets people to see someone not drinking. I've never been one to make it overtly obvious that I'm not drinking, and I've certainly never sat in the pub preaching from a soap box about why people should reduce their consumption of it. I can have a good laugh without needing to be drunk and I can now remember the next day what it was that made me laugh in the first place. In the end, I got fed up of friends 'persuading' me to drink when I went out, so I would often just order an orange juice and pretend it was my usual vodka and orange just to save the hassle.
In situations such as toasts at weddings, Christmas dinners, work parties and catch ups with friends, a faux wine like Eisberg's Alcohol-free wine (pictured above) could be just the perfect way to appear to be drinking and joining in, without having to sacrifice your health to do so.
I've had a bottle of alcohol-free rosé on the dinner table this weekend. I was surprised to see that it only has 33 calories per 125ml glass - making it a great swap from my usual glass of blueberry juice. To me, it has a wine flavour, but it's sweeter and more floral. There's no bitterness of alcohol to dampen the sweetness down, so some (including my partner) may find it a little too sweet, but for me and even my father (who is a huge fan of wine and even used to make his own!) it's certainly a pleasant substitute and a welcome change from drinking fruit juice or lemonade with Sunday dinner!
Eisberg's alcohol free wine can be found in most supermarkets and costs around £3 for a 75cl bottle.
Disclosure: I was sent this product to review, but as always my opinions are honest and my own