Irene Falcone, Sydney-based mother of four and serial entrepreneur, has always had an eye for revolutionary business ideas and living a toxin-free life. After selling her first company, Nourished Life, an online retailer selling non-toxic health and beauty products, Irene has ventured into the world of non-alcoholic beverages.
On her quest for a completely toxin-free life, Irene gave up drinking alcohol and immediately noticed the immense difference in her gut health, energy levels and skin. She permanently switched to non-alcoholic beverages, but struggled to find retailers in Australia that sold them.
Irene's new found passion and mission to encourage more mindful drinking in Australia, was the catalyst for her new business venture Sans Drinks, an online retailer selling the best of the world's non-alcoholic beverages here in Australia.
Alcohol-free socialising; without the stigma.
It’s been a year now since I stopped drinking alcohol and I have honestly never felt better in my life.
The obsession just sort of creeps up on you. I was a massive wine fanatic and wouldn’t mind guessing I had one of the best wine collections in Australia. I would spend hours in my cellar, just tasting, researching and planning out which wines I wanted to get my hands on next.
But after spending the last eight years focusing on exactly what products were going on my face and body – I was ready for the next step in my wellness journey and that was cutting back, right back on my alcohol intake!
I remember back in 2012, when I was making the switch to natural, toxin-free beauty, it was because I feel was feeling so exhausted and sluggish, my skin was unpredictable and I had no idea just how many chemicals I was slathering all over myself say after day. Making so many positive changes to what I was putting in and on my body was the best thing I ever did for my health, so it just made complete sense to shift the focus to my alcohol intake.
I finally realised that while I was being incredibly careful about avoiding chemicals and going natural in so many parts of my life, I did enjoy a glass of wine or two, or three of wine (even if it was organic) and that alcohol was most definitely not good for my body or gut health.
It wasn’t that I was drinking that much, I just loved a good glass of red at a restaurant with my hubby or sipping champagne by the pool on the weekends.
How could I possibly give up those things? How could I socialise without alcohol and not feel like I was missing out? In Australia, alcohol is so engrained into so many aspects of our lives. After work drinks on a Friday, cocktails by the pool on Saturday… I mean, we even pre-drink at home before going out to drink some more… as if we just can’t get enough alcohol into us while we’re out!
And after all, there was no possible way I was switching to alcohol-free wine. Surely, it couldn’t have the same complexity or taste I pondered. Isn’t it just grape juice? I soon realised just how wrong I was and found that quality, alcohol-free wine was just as pleasurable palatable as it’s alcoholic cousin. The best part was, I wasn’t waking up with a hangover and I didn’t feel like I was getting major FOMO at the family BBQ.
Within a week of my discovery I’d sent my entire wine collection off to auction. I was a convert. I’d realised that I actually hated the way I felt when I drank and I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I haven’t looked back since. My gut health has improved tremendously, my energy levels are back and I am consuming so many less calories. Yes, don’t even get me started on how many calories are in alcohol!
But best of all, it sparked a passion in me that I’d not felt in a long time. The struggle it was to find decent de-alcoholised wines not to mention the judgement I’d received from shop assistants was the catalyst I needed to start Sans Drinks, an online retailer dedicated to mindful drinking.
I wanted people to know that you can still enjoy a beautiful, crisp white or a full-bodied red, at home or with friends, without the guilt, addiction or social stigma of ‘why aren’t you drinking?’. Switching to non-alcoholic wines was the ideal solution for me, to curb my drinking, focus on my health and still get to do all the things I love but without the nasty side effects.
Since giving up alcohol, my head is clearer and my gut health has truly improved, and did I mention less calories? I’m more present for my family and my passion for life has been reignited. I challenge you to do the same and see the difference it makes.
If you’re feeling brave enough to make the switch, here are my top 3 non-alcoholic wines to try:
Best Sparkling - https://sansdrinks.com.au/products/thomson-scott-noughty
Best Red - https://sansdrinks.com.au/products/newblood-non-alcoholic-shiraz
Best White - https://sansdrinks.com.au/products/mcguigan-zero-sauvignon-blanc