Southern Makers

Zero Proof Living with Sèchey and Target

By: Emily Havener

Recently, Emily Heintz celebrated her fifth Dry January, but this one was a little different: She had partnered with Target to create a “Sèchey for Tar-jay” pop-up in stores across the nation with several n/a beverage brands carried exclusively through Sèchey, as well as the first three varietals of dealcoholized wine from Sèchey’s very own private label.

Heintz founded Sèchey (meaning “dryish” in French, accent on the last syllable), the nonalcoholic bottle shop that has taken Charleston by storm, to fill a niche she predicted would boom, and she’s been proven right every step of the way. The Local Palate spoke with her about this latest partnership and how Sèchey is changing the narrative around alcohol-free beverages.

Our Interview with Sèchey’s Emily Heintz

ghia, a non alcoholic aperitif that Sèchey sells

TLP: What are the products you offered through this partnership, and how can people find them?

Emily Heintz: We did a variety pack of our favorites, and each brand put them together. Currently they’re sold out at Target but we have them on our site, For $20 you can taste the varieties from each of these brands.

Ghia has been one of our partners since day one. They are an aperitif with four different flavors. De Soi was cofounded by Katy Perry. This is an adaptogenic aperitif. Nope is an alt-tail; you can drink it on its own zero proof or you can add spirits. Surely is our wine in the can [option]. You can also use it as a mixer; the sparkling brut makes a fantastic French 75. Then you have Kin Euphorics, the Dusk Till Dawn [variety pack], So there’s actually a product in here for every mood of the day.

TLP: You are also offering a new Sèchey label dealcoholized wine—tell us about that.

Emily Heintz: It is German, from one of the number-one companies in the world that does the dealcoholization process, which is a tough process. And that’s why dealcoholized wine might be on the higher end of the price point, because you make the wine, you remove the alcohol, and then you balance it. We had three wines for Target: The pinot noir was our bestseller, but there’s also a cuvee blanc and a still rosé. Those will be back on shelves at Target in March.

TLP: What’s the difference between dealcoholized wine and alcohol-free or alternative wine?

Emily Heintz: Dealcoholized wine has 0.5% ABV. So technically, it has a little bit of alcohol in it. An alternative wine, my definition is that it pours like a wine. It’s bottled like a wine, but it’s not trying to be a wine. It may have tea in it, it may have botanicals, it might be fermented. We have a ton of wine from all over the world. We’re testing and learning what people like.

Emily Heintz founder of Sèchey

TLP: Do you find that people are looking for health benefits more so with n/a and alternative alcohol products? Is there a higher standard?

Emily Heintz: Sèchey was founded to increase the awareness, availability and convenience of alternatives, but it’s rooted in health and wellness. Everything in our functional section has an adaptogen a plant-based botanic, a nootropic. We also carry Delta-9, which is legal federally—so that’s popular for people who are California sober. The mushrooms are having a moment [too].

TLP: You have a beer and wine license, and you do carry a small selection of alcoholic products. Talk to me about this “dryish” philosophy Sèchey was founded on.

Emily Heintz: Sometimes people think we’re a bottle shop, and when they come in, we might as well have something they’re looking for. This will probably expand as we think about what people like to drink. It’s highly curated, just some of my favorites. We’re not here to judge anyone’s relationship with alcohol. There is something to be said for that dopamine hit right and that the socialization and the connection. This is you and your relationship with alcohol.

TLP: What’s next for your collaboration with Target?

Emily Heintz: We have been working together for a year and a half on what has been a trend, we now recognize as a movement. Target is a trendsetter. They like to accelerate movements and get behind things. In this category the demand has exceeded supply a lot.So in our partnership with the curation, it’s about picking some of the bestsellers and having Sèchey’s stamp of approval. And this was the first of many projects we look towards as this movement grows.

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