Kitchn Love Letters

Forget Rosé All Day, This Is What I’ll Be Drinking All Spring and Summer

published Mar 28, 2022
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Credit: Acid League

I’m just going to tell it like it is: I love wine. I truly look forward to my glass every evening — preferably a bubbly pét-nat, but I’ll try anything. The problem? Wine every night is not exactly the best habit. I’ve been cutting back recently, and I realize that, more than the alcohol, I miss the ritual of my evening wine. It’s my way of unpacking and unwinding while making dinner. I’ve tried all sorts of alternatives and found a few colleague-recommended choices that I like, but thanks to Acid League, I’ve finally found the non-alcoholic beverage that I love.

You may have read about my obsession with Acid League’s put-it-on-everything “secret sauce” or our senior editor Danielle’s favorite spicy pantry staple. The funky, inventive company’s booze-free beverages, called Proxies, are described as “layered blends of fruit, teas, spices, bitters, and more.” And yes, these juice-based wine alternatives completely live up to the standard set by their Acid League condiment counterparts.

Brilliantly designed to mimic the shape, look, and feel of a cool bottle of vino, the Proxies check off all the boxes for my nightly routine. They require a wine opener, their flavors mimic the complexity of wine with layers of dynamic notes (think all the expected tannins, acidity, and mouth feel), and they’re just as drinkable as my favorite bottle of rosé. The Proxies come in a variety of flavors that are roughly red, rosé, and white equivalents, but more inventive. I don’t even like red wine, but I wouldn’t hesitate to bust out a bottle of Nightshade (a cherry/cranberry base balanced by rooibos, paprika, and olive leaf) or Velvet (a Cab Sauv-forward blend incorporating coffee, cacao nib, and wolfberry vinegar).

You can snag your favorite in a four-pack, give them a try with the Tasting Set (two “whites,” one “rosé,” and one “red”), or go for it with the Proxies Club Subscription, which includes three limited-edition bottles every month. These special flavors are seasonal and occasionally a chef collab, so you can continually expand your palate and enjoy your nightly routine in new ways. I just finished my third bottle from last month’s Proxies Club, which were all citrus based and scrumptious. True story: I drank half that bottle by myself last night and woke up this morning looking (and feeling) bright eyed and bushy tailed.

As the weather continues to warm up and springtime picnics start to populate my weekends, I plan on bringing my Proxies with me. While I’m not completely giving up the occasional boozy afternoon, I can’t wait to enjoy sipping on something refreshing without worrying about driving home or (grandma alert!) falling asleep before I make it to dinner. Cheers!

Buy: Acid Leagues Proxies Club Subscription, $59.50