The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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London Wine Fair

London Wine Fair: alcohol-free wine is getting better

A big topic of constant discussion in our community is alcohol-free wine. People who’ve been hardcore wine drinkers who have not quit drinking search for alcohol-free alternatives. Often disappointed by the alcohol-free wines that they’re finding in their supermarkets, people become really desperate to find something else of a higher quality. When it comes to good alcohol-free alternatives, the wine market has been a little slower than most to catch on with the low and no market. Thankfully, though, things are getting better.

The team at Club Soda is very proactive in advocating low and no alcohol options. We do lots of behind-the-scenes work to make sure that those who choose not to drink get options at every bar, event, and shop, and that those options are visible at events and tradeshows across the world. So when Laura got the opportunity to revisit London Wine Fair with 17 low and no alcohol wine alternatives, she jumped at the chance to show how this category is on the rise!

This podcast was recorded at London Wine Fair 2022 with wine experts Christine Parkinson and Harry Crowther. Both experts came along to talk about why it’s important for venues to stock more low and no options, and why the length of time it takes to make wine means it’s at the back of the race to market in the low and no market.

What is London Wine Fair?

London Wine Fair is one of the world’s top wine fairs, bringing an abundance of wine producers from around the world together. After the pandemic, the 2022 exhibition, held at Olympia London, saw over 400 exhibitors. This year, Club Soda were proud to host the inaugural Mindful Drinking Pavilion – the first time alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks have had a dedicated showcase at the event. We curated a selection of low and no alcohol drinks’ biggest and most exciting brands, including Thomson & Scott Noughty, Real Kombucha, ISH, Three Spirits, Binary Botanical, Everleaf, Saicho, Copenhagen Sparkling Tea and Oddbird. 

Lead by our founder, Laura Willoughby, we also hosted guest panels that included this very podcast, to educate and inspire people about the current offerings in the wine occasion sector.

Who are our guest panelists?

Christine Parkinson is a long-time friend of Club Soda and one of the most prolific wine experts in the UK. Starting in the restaurant trade, she worked with Hakkasan as their Head of Wine for 18 years. She has now ventured out and became a wine and sake specialist, and is also the co-founder at Brimful Drinks.

Harry Crowther is a well-respected wine expert who runs Modern Profitable wine training & consultancy organisation Grain to Grape. Grain to Grape offers a full, 360◦ wine training and consultancy designed to help the wine category thrive. Harry’s aim is to democratise wine knowledge for everyone.

Some great wine alternatives you’ll want to try

Finding alcohol-free wines or alternatives that you enjoy can be a challenge. At Club Soda, we attend trade shows, liaise with producers, and champion great low and no alcohol brands, so we’re up close and personal with the best wine alternatives on the market. If you’re looking for a new favourite alcohol-free wine, we’ve put together a list of 28 alcohol-free wines you’ll love, including Binary Botanical, Saicho, LA Kombucha, Vinada, and ISH sparkling wines.

How to listen to more great podcast content from Club Soda

Whether you want in-depth interviews or lively discussion, the podcast has something for everyone, bringing you news, events, recipes, advice, and interviews to support your changing drinking habits. Each week, join Club Soda co-founders Laura Willoughby and Dru Jaegerall your favourite podcasting platforms, like Apple, Google and Spotify. Subscribe today and get all our latest news, interviews and drinks reviews.

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