12 best mid, low and no-alcohol wines

Rosé has triumphed at the 2023 Mid-Low-No Alcohol Wine Awards (MLNA), taking out both the Overall Judges’ Wine of Show and the Overall Consumer Choice Wine of Show. Australia’s best wines at the awards were in the pink, with the Judges’ Wine of Show going to Not Guilty Rosé NV from Australian Vintage and Overall Consumer Choice Wine of Show going to Tread Softly Rosé 2022.

Hosted by Wine Pilot the winners were announced across the mid-low-no alcohol categories last night at an exclusive event held at The Winery, Sydney.

Not Guilty launches in Australia in August 2023 and is targeted at the under-30s. It comes with an irreverent, light-hearted label featuring a panda, dog, monkey or rabbit depending on the wine style.

With last year’s show being the first of its kind in Australia to focus solely on zero-alcohol wines, 2023 saw the reinvigorated awards expand out to new categories giving entrants both locally and across the globe the opportunity to shine as talented producers in this rapidly expanding segment.

The awards are timely, with data from IWSR showing the no-alcohol category grew +8% in 2022, and will continue on a growth trajectory of +7% volume CAGR, 2022-2027. By 2027, it is expected to command 2% volume share of the total global beverage alcohol market.

The MLNA Awards 2023 received over 140 submissions from winemakers across the award’s three categories:

  • Zero Alcohol (0.00% – 0.49%) – Sparkling, White, Rosé and Red
  • Low Alcohol (0.5% – 6.9%) – Sparkling, White, Rosé and Red
  • Mid Alcohol (7% – 11%) – Sparkling, White, Rosé and Red

The MLNA Awards consisted of a two-part judging process, including a formal wine judging which featured a panel of highly credentialed judges including winemaking consultant and MLNA 2023 Chairman Mike DeGaris, Shanteh Wale from the Halliday Wine Companion Tasting Team, Matt Dunne former leading sommelier and Group Wine Ambassador from Joval Wine Group, Owner of One Penny Restaurant and Co-Creator at Lyre’s Spirit Co. David Murphy and Wine Pilot Founder and Publisher Angus Hughson.

The formal wine judging took place in May with judges noting their key focuses were drinkability and flavour.

The second element of the judging process saw the addition of a ‘consumer choice’ event, with invited guests and noise makers in the industry casting their vote on their favorite of the top three wines from each category. This event took place earlier in June and provided a unique opportunity for attendees to voice their opinion on their top wines.

Wine Pilot founder Angus Hughson said: “The Mid-Low-No Alcohol Wine Awards has been a tremendous success, demonstrating the incredible strides made in this segment. The more than doubling in submissions received this year reflects the significant growth that can be seen across the category, with a focus on quality and innovation among the top production styles.

“These awards celebrate a pivotal moment in the industry and were created to not only honour and promote high-quality alternatives for those seeking flavourful wines with lighter or no alcohol content, but also to support in driving forward the growth and popularity of this category.

“We are witnessing a significant shift in consumer preferences, and these awards serve as a platform to celebrate the achievements of the industry to date. We hope to help pave the way for further advancements and reinforce the growing demand for mid-low-no alcohol wines both on a local and international stage.”

Winning trophies in several categories was Tread Softly, a brand of Fourth Wave Wine.

“We are very pleased that Tread Softly has been recognised for great quality across the Mid, Rosé and Red wine categories. We take pride in producing exceptional wines at these lower alcohols that offer a vibrant and flavourful alternative for those seeking a lighter option without compromising on taste,” said Fourth Wave Wine Managing Director, Ross Marshall.

“These accolades motivate us to continue pushing the boundaries crafting consistent, quality wines.”

The 2023 Mid-Low-No Alcohol Awards trophy winners

  • Overall Judges Wine of Show: Not Guilty Rosé NV
  • Best Sparkling: Tempus Two Zero Prosecco NV
  • Best White: The Doctors’ Riesling 2022
  • Best Rosé: Not Guilty Rosé NV
  • Best Red: Tread Softly Sangiovese 2021
  • Best Mid (7% – 11%): Tread Softly Sangiovese 2021
  • Best Low (0.5% – 6.9%): Tempus Two Lighten Up Pinot Noir 2022
  • Best Zero (0.00% – 0.49%): Not Guilty Rosé NV

Consumer choice winners

  • Overall Consumer Choice Wine of Show: Tread Softly Rosé 2022
  • Best Zero Sparkling: V.NO Sparkling Blanc de Blanc NV
  • Best Zero White: Jacobs Creek Unvined Riesling 2022
  • Best Zero Rosé: Plus & Minus Rosé 2022
  • Best Zero Red: Pure Vision Shiraz 2021
  • Best Mid-Low (0.5% – 11%) Sparkling: See Saw Prosecco 2022
  • Best Mid-Low (0.5% – 11%) White: Tread Softly Vermentino 2022
  • Best Mid-Low (0.5% – 11%) Rosé: Tread Softly Rosé 2022
  • Best Mid-Low (0.5% – 11%) Red: Tread Softly Sangiovese 2021

The Mid-Low-No Alcohol Awards 2023 was sponsored by Flavourtech, Denomination, Ultra Labels & Flexpack, Sanector, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits, Stolzle, and Plus and Minus.

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