Fre Non Alcoholic Merlot Review. Fre from taste?

Fre non alcoholic merlot wine i bought and drank for this review
Fre Merlot

There aren’t many better selling non alcoholic wine ranges in the US than Fre. They are a branch of a powerhouse producer and have came in with a big budget and campaign.

Is their Fre Merlot up to scratch, is it worth trying?

There are many reasons to try non alcoholic wines anyway, ive written about 13 of them here

About Fre

Fre wines is owned by the Cali giant Sutter Home. All its grapes come from “premier” Californian vineyards, choosing sites that best express the grapes.

What is a Merlot?

Merlot is Americas second favourite red grape variety after “king” Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot grapes can grow in a variety of climates and its most famous wines are from Bordeaux right bank (think Petrus).

It has a soft, easy, round texture that makes it perfect for beginners and easy drinking.

It is sometimes looked down on as it has soft tannins and limited flavour around the palate being mostly tasted on the tongue.

How is Fre Merlot made?

Fre Merlot is made by a method called spinning cone column.

This is the most efficient method. It is designed to extract and recover volatile compounds (the delicate flavours in the wine) using steam, under vacuum conditions.

It is a far gentler process compared to other extraction techniques meaning more of the wine flavour is retained in the final product.

The Nutrition

Alcohol – 0.5%

Calories – 30kcal per 100ml

Carbohydrate – 9g per 100ml

Sugar – Unknown but likely 5-8g per 100ml

The calories and sugar/carbohydrate content is on the high side for a non alcoholic red wine in my experience.

The Look

The logo is certainly well styled and the bottle looks good, you would pick it up based on that. When you open the wine and poor it has a deep purple hue

The Aroma

There wasn’t a huge amount of aroma coming from this wine. I could pick up some black current and cassis but had to do a good old sniff.

The Taste

Ah, this isn’t for me. It tastes incredibly sweet.

It is actually hard to get past that and pick out the flavours, it is the first thing and the last thing on your tongue.

In all my alcohol free and non alcoholic wine tasting this is one of the sweetest tasting reds i have had. So if you like sweet tasting reds, this really is for you.

For me, it’s too sweet for a red wine. Trying to get the flavours, you get some black fruits, maybe cassis that i love in a red but it’s clawing on the palate like a grape juice not a wine.

There does seem to be a wine in there, if they could produce it with half the sugar we might be getting somewhere.

I tried it out on my usual tasters…

My wife – Hated it, she’s sampled just about all the wines i have had

My parents – They thought it was ok to pleasant! They haven’t tried as many as my wife and I have but they did like it well enough.

I could only have half a glass before needing to throw it out.

The Verdict

Unfortunately this just isn’t for me. Having a look on Amazon reviews and various supermarkets there are quite a few giving it 5/5 and saying it is their favourite non alcoholic wine so people do like it.

The Score

4/10 – Too sweet, not enough depth and there are much better non alcoholic and alcohol free red wines out there for my money.

Where to buy

This isn’t dear to buy so if you think you might be one of the folk who love it then by all means try it.

You can follow this link to Amazon to see the live prices and buying options.

No affiliate but you can also get these in Asda in the UK

For UK readers, Light Drinks has this and others, if you use code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE you get an additional 5% off

For Australian readers, Craft Zero has a range of products, if you use code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE you get an additional 10% off

*Affiliate Disclosure – if you click on the links and buy from these providers, i might receive a small commission*

Is Fre Merlot gluten free?

Yes Fre Merlot is gluten free. No grains are used in the product. This has been confirmed by Fre on their website.

Is Fre Merlot vegan?

Fre in vegan, there are no animal products used in it or its production.

This has been confirmed by Fre on their website

For more information about why all wines are not vegan, read my article on the matter. I guarantee you will be surprised!

Fre Notes via website


With its plush, luxurious taste, and gorgeous garnet color, our alcohol-removed Merlot delivers plenty of style and grace. With seductive black plum aromas and soft cherry and spice flavors, our Merlot is velvety smooth, with a full, rich finish—a classic beauty.


We select our Merlot grapes from California’s marine-influenced vineyards, where an extended growing season allows the grapes develop to develop concentrated flavors and complexity.
Our winemakers carefully craft this Merlot using traditional methods; then our exclusive spinning cone process gently removes the alcohol while preserving the wine’s delicate aromas and flavors.


Herb-crusted lamb chops, hearty stews, juicy hamburgers and pizza.

Review Overview

Too sweet, not enough depth and there are much better non alcoholic and alcohol free red wines out there for my money.


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Hi im Phil. Im the sole writer on this site. For more info look at my about page

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