Welcome to Like A Virgin, a column in which we recommend a different zero-ABV drink each week. They’re not “near beers,” they’re not “mocktails”—they’re delicious beverages that anyone and everyone should try at least once. Got an idea for a future Like A Virgin column? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lali’s canned non-alcoholic wines are not meant for snobs, which is fine by me. Trying to be a wine snob can be utterly exhausting. Don’t get me wrong—I’m picky about which drinks are worthy enough to get the Like A Virgin treatment, and I do my best to appraise them as I do all other things: very, very seriously. I’ll dim the lights, ask Alexa for a serenade of light classical music, and pretend I’m a classy Frasier-esque sophisticate as I sip, dissect, and type.
But in reality, I am not a fancy person, nor do I covet particularly fancy things. For each time I’ve curled up on the couch with a proper nightcap, there have been 100 times when I’ve curled up on that same couch with a bag of cold spaghetti. Most nights I cannot mentally or emotionally handle a wine that demands my utmost attention; I just want to kick back with something good and simple, that I can enjoy without overthinking. That is exactly what Lali delivers.
Think about Lali the same way you’d think of the house wine at a comfortable neighborhood restaurant: a wine that pairs as well with chicken fingers as charcuterie. All of Lali’s wines are made from organic grapes grown in California’s Central Valley: Red is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah grapes; White features Sauvignon Blanc and French Colombard; and Rosé contains Red Zinfandel, French Colombard, and Pinot Grigio.
After turning the grapes into wine, the alcohol is removed through an unspecified “patented process.” If this was a froufrou wine I’d probably have questions about that process (spinning cone, perhaps?), but this is an easygoing canned wine, so honestly, I don’t care how the hell they’re doing things over there in the Lali factory.
After the alcohol is removed, Lali peps up the wine with a bit of grape juice concentrate and ever mysterious “natural flavorings,” which might be dubious to wine snobs, but a blessing for schmoes like myself who simply want to drink stoop wine with the neighbors without getting a buzz, or chase down our bagged spaghetti with something a little nicer than usual. Sometimes you want to be a Fraiser, and sometimes you need to be a Cliff.