There’s now a ‘wine’ for pregnant women

The bottle:9Months sparkling juice, $16.50

The back story: What’s a pregnant woman to sip? Well, one North Carolina company thinks it has an answer — boutique sparkling grape juice, imported from Australia. That’s essentially what 9Months is (and it comes in white and red varieties). The new wine (er, juice) label is the brainchild of Carrie Marvin, a corporate recruiter-turned-mom and entrepreneur. When Marvin was pregnant, she says she couldn’t find anything festive enough to drink for a special occasion — the closest product that came to mind was Martinelli’s sparkling cider — so she developed something on her own. “There’s such a void in the market,” says Marvin. She adds that what distinguishes 9Months from just any juice is that it’s made with grapes typically used for wine production. (Carbonation is added later in the process.) As for why she sourced her liquid from Australia, Marvin says she had trouble convincing a U.S. winemaker/grape grower to sign on to the project: “They were like, ‘I don’t get it.’”

Weekend Sip: Expecting? Here’s a sparkling juice

The resistance that Marvin faced notwithstanding, the alcohol-free wine and beer segment is in something of a growth mode. Sales in the U.S. increased by 5.6% to nearly $100 million in 2014, according to one published report. While pregnant women may constitute a part of this market, there’s clearly plenty of demand from others avoiding alcohol. And let’s not forget the growing movement to make January a dry month.

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What we think about it: We give credit to 9Months for clever branding. As for what’s in the bottle, well, it’s non-very wine-like. (And certainly not very Champagne-like.) This is juice, after all – perhaps with a little more earthy character than some of your standard grape juice products on the market, but it’s juice nonetheless (and it’s plenty sweet, too). Still, if you’re looking to avoid alcohol, it’s an option, albeit a pricier one than regular juice.

How to enjoy it: Just chill the bottle and open. But don’t plan on making a mimosa or another sparkling wine cocktail with this one. Because, again, it isn’t wine.

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