Nonalcoholic Wine-Flavored Soda

Vignette Wine Country Soda

Vignette Wine Country Soda

I Paid: $28.50 for a dozen 12-ounce bottles (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 5 stars

Vignette Wine Country Soda is a nonalcoholic wine-flavored soft drink. Does the conflation of wine and soda make this a gateway beverage for 14-year-old winos? Would people be equally accepting of nonalcoholic chocolate milk with a simulated dark rum back? Something to think about.

On the other hand, Vignette sodas deserve some kudos for extending the same branding and taste concerns lavished upon alcoholic beverages to drinks that could be served to teetotaling adults. The past few years have seen a boon in the long-neglected sector of nonalcoholic drinks for adults—the designated driver has come a long way in terms of humane treatment.

The Chardonnay soda tastes a bit like a fancy spritzer. It’s got a little earthy grapey-ness but is clean and refreshing. The Rosé flavor is more like a fruit punch for adults: not overly sweet, with a distinct mandarin orange note.

Neither, of course, really achieves winelike complexity, but the “soda” descriptor on the bottle should be indication enough that this is a beverage aimed at straight-up refreshment and amusement, not gastronomic transcendence.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow Chowhound on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.

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