4 different brands of wine bottles and cans on a designed background

The 6 Best Wine & Spritzers for Day Drinking

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Jessica Ball, M.S., RD
July 26, 2021
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We love our wine here at EatingWell, and are thankful for the health benefits it can provide when enjoyed in moderation. With warm weather and vacation season fully upon us, a midday libation can seem totally warranted. However, day drinking is all fun and games until your day is cut short at 4 P.M. for a nap. We've all been there—it's OK. But crashing after a glass or two doesn't need to be your summer fate. We've pulled together this list of our editors' favorite low-alcohol, light and refreshing wines, perfect for a day at the beach or on the porch with friends. These lighter wines mean you can enjoy a glass or two, without feeling super groggy or tired an hour later.

The 6 Best Wines for Day Drinking

1. Easy Wine

Easy Wine is just as advertised: a very easy drinker. It's lightly bubbly, super fresh and beautiful in color. It's only 5.8 percent alcohol by volume (or ABV), compared to the 12 to 14 percent ABV that you'll find in a typical bottle of wine. You can sip away, without feeling the same strong effects of a typical wine. Plus, it comes in a can, so it's safer to transport and easier to open than a glass bottle. Just know that there are two servings per can!

Easy Wine, Pink 4-Pack
$13.99
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Drizly

2. Ramona Wine Spritz

Created to be a portable take on the classic Italian spritz aperitif, Ramona makes low-alcohol spritzes that pack the perfect combination of refreshing, bubbly and slightly fruity. Each 250-mL. can contains 110 calories, 10 grams of sugar and is 7 percent ABV. Available flavors include Meyer Lemon, Ruby Grapefruit and Blood Orange. This is an editor fav for a reason, and is just as perfect around the dinner table as it is on the beach. Snag a 4-pack so you can be party ready, sans glass.

Ramona Meyer Lemon Wine Spritz 4-Pack
$16.99
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Drizly

3. Illuminate Collection by Kim Crawford

The wine making typhoon Kim Crawford recently released a low-alcohol, lower-calorie line of wines that are definitely worth a spot in your lineup. The Illuminate Wine Collection includes a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and flavorful Rose available in 750-mL. bottles. Per serving, the wine has only 70 calories, 3 grams of sugar and is 7 percent ABV—about half the alcohol content of comparable wines. We will (day) drink to that!

Kim Crawford Illuminate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
$16.99
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Drizly
Kim Crawford Illuminate Rose Wine
$13.99
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Drizly

4. Vinho Verde

When it comes to easy-drinking wines for summer, vinho verde is hard to beat. The name comes from the region in Portugal where it's grown. Its light effervescence and zippy flavor make it the perfect match for warm days. Plus, it contains only about 10 to 12 percent ABV per glass, which is only slightly lower than a typical wine, but still, the lower alcohol content can help you pace yourself during the day. Brands like Broadbent and Casal Garcia are favorites amongst our test kitchen.

Broadbent Vinho Verde
$8.99
($11.99 save 25%)
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Wine.com
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde
$8.50
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Wine.com
Aveleda Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2019
$10.99
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Wine.com

5. Riesling

Rieslings are much more than a popular type of dessert wine. In fact, they can be super crisp, dry and are known for their low-alcohol levels. Similar to vinho verde, rieslings (particularly from Europe) are slightly fizzy and impressively refreshing. They boast only about 8 percent ABV compared to 14 percent ABV for more medium bodied wines, such as pinot noir, chianti or chardonnay. If you are really looking for something light, Underwood Wines makes a Riesling Radler that clocks in at only 3 percent ABV and comes in a can that's perfect for on-to-go. Picnic, anyone?

Underwood Riesling Radler
$6.59
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Drizly
Dr Loosen "L" Riesling
$12.99
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Drizly
Lucien Albrecht Riesling Reserve
$15.99
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Drizly

6. Haus

With a laser focus on botanical ingredients and herbs, Haus is a shoe-in for summer. Though their aperitifs are closer to 18 percent ABV, they are perfect for day drinking when topped with seltzer or club soda to lighten them up. Mouthwatering flavors like Lemon Lavender and Citrus Flower will put a sophisticated spin on your classic spritz. My personal favorite is Bitter Clove. The spicy cloves pair perfectly with seltzer for a day drink or served on the rocks for a night cap.

Bitter Clove, 750ml
$40.00
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Haus

Bottom Line

There's a time and a place for day drinking, and while it's not wise to make it a regular thing, it's totally okay to enjoy a mid-afternoon beverage (or two) from time to time. It's all about balance! To help you make it through the afternoon without dozing off, stick to lower alcohol refreshing drinks. These wines, spritzes and aperitifs prove that you can enjoy a beach day, picnic lunch or brunch with a little buzz, without getting ahead of yourself. To cut out booze altogether, check out how to pick the best non-alcoholic wines