Kitchn Love Letters

The Best Weeknight Wine Is This California Bubbly

published Oct 24, 2022
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Various wines on tabletop.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Over the course of the last two-plus years of the pandemic, I found myself coping with two solutions: wine and Bravo. But at some point, after realizing I wasn’t feeling my best anymore, I put a pause on my former wine subscription. There was no shame in my Bravo game (my knowledge of some shows has ballooned to insider knowledge on several casts), but I was over the drinking part — or, perhaps more accurately, I was over the worn-down feeling that came after drinking. Once I realized this, I decided to make a change. I switched to water. I got into tonics. I had a moment that was all about tea. And then my friend posted about Libby.

Credit: Libby Wines

What’s So Great About Libby Bubbled Wine?

In June 2021, wine maker Grant Hemingway and entrepreneur John Green launched Libby Wines as a way to address this very issue — while also creating a new drinking category. Libby is bubbly wine, which means that carbonated water is introduced into the wine-making process to heighten the taste and scent while lowering the alcohol. Libby has about seven to eight percent alcohol per volume (as opposed to the average 12 percent of other sparkling wines). And to further sweeten the deal, Libby wines are made from sustainably farmed grapes in California.

For those who don’t necessarily care about the numbers or dietary checkmarks, here’s what you should remember about Libby: It is delicious, thanks to Hemingway’s nearly two decades of experience in the wine industry, and drinking it makes hangovers about as rare as a Bravo show that ends with sincere hugs. 

Hemingway started Libby as a new dad, when he and his wife, Natalie Hemingway, wanted to continue their regular glasses of wine at night without being too sluggish in the morning. (Full disclosure: Natalie is the friend who posted about the wine, which ended up on my feed!) After drinking Libby over the course of a couple of weeks — there are red, rosé, and white blend options — I can confidently say that I never woke up feeling run-down in the slightest. In fact, I woke up feeling as if I had stuck to drinking water, tonic, or tea — except this was way more fun. 

What’s the Best Way to Drink Libby Bubbled Wine?

Obviously, wine doesn’t have to solely pair with whatever happens to be on TV. Libby is a solid option for anyone who wants to drink alcohol without fear of a headache the next day, like parents with young kids or those over the age of 26. And because the flavor of Libby’s three options are crisp-yet-light, and bubbles are part of the equation, I can also see Libby as a popular addition to birthdays, anniversaries, or any excuse to celebrate. After all, we can’t expect to watch reality shows all the time. A wine like this is a great addition to our own storylines.

Buy: Libby Bubbled Wine Bubble Pack, $54 for 3 (750-ml) bottles

Do you have a favorite low-alcohol wine? Tell us about it in the comments below.