Strippers, Priests and Non-Alcoholic Wine

Non-Alcoholic beer is a staple at many bars for teetotaling patrons, but the world of non-alcoholic wine remains a bit mysterious.

Jennifer Cacicio digs into N/A wine’s unlikely market sector to uncover a motley mix of strippers, priests and cats.

We’ve grown used to the sight of non-alcoholic beer on a restaurant menu or a few token O’Doul’s thrown into the summertime cooler. But what about non-alcoholic wine? Two of the largest wine producers in California—J. Lohr and Sutter Home—make and sell a combined total upwards of 200,000 cases a year; Carl Jung Winery in Germany has been producing non-alcoholic wine since 1908 and now sells more than a million liters per year, exporting to more than 25 countries. But exactly who is drinking it?

First, the usual suspects: the designated drivers, the pregnant moms, those who struggle with alcoholism or have serious health concerns. That all makes sense. But Steve Peck, the red winemaker at J. Lohr who also oversees production their non-alcoholic line, Ariel, pointed me in two less expected directions: religious communities and, of all things, gentlemen’s clubs.