Review: NON

Cool Sh*t, Drink / 30 September 2022

It’s no exaggeration to say, alcohol is a big part of culture and connection in Australia and globally. It plays a role in most people’s social lives and social situations. We drink wine when we catch up with friends, we cheer in celebration and toast in solidarity.

With more consideration for well-being and focus on health (especially after the overindulgence seen during the pandemic and throughout the lockdowns), non-alcoholic options are being embraced in a sober movement. And while Australia still has a strong drinking culture, we are drinking less. Globally, the no booze category has grown considerably – 506% market growth since 2015. There are non-alcoholic beers, spirits made to mimic liquor, dealcoholized wines and zero-free beverages. Traditional wine brands including McGuigan Wines and Tempus Two are offering zero choices. And nonalcoholic options can be easily purchased at bottle shops and supermarkets.

Since the shift in drinking culture, people don’t have to make up excuses as to why they aren’t drinking anymore. If someone in the group isn’t drinking, the question isn’t: “could they be pregnant?” but an acceptance that they just aren’t drinking on this occasion.

The category is heavily judged though, especially due to the preconception that the taste of the wine alternatives being overly sweet to unpalatable. However, zero wine doesn’t have to mean zero taste.

Enter NON. Founded by Aaron Trotman, a Melbourne entrepreneur who believes ‘conformity is boring’, he is on a mission to create the future of drinks. NON is not a wine replacement. Put simply, NON is an alternative zero-free beverage aiming to provide you with another drinking option. But there is nothing simple about NON. The synergetic creation is perhaps best described by the company’s manifesto: “NON looks like a wine, smells like a chef’s creation and tastes like nothing else in the world”.

Designed by a team of expert food and beverage professionals (chefs, bartenders, food scientists and winemakers), NON is built with similar production methods and flavour profiles to wine. Tannin, floral, salinity and acidity are extracted from real produce using techniques from the culinary and viticulture worlds. The result: complex drinks with vinous-like qualities.

Currently, there are seven options in the range, going forward, the label intends on making seasonal and limited releases. Knowing their audience, the beverage is served in a minimalistic-designed ‘wine’ clear glass bottle allowing the pastel or brightly-coloured liquid catch your eye. Each is lightly carbonated, like a pét-nat. The infusion of herbs, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables means the flavour profile for each of the NON’s is quite different.

The most popular is NON1 Salted Raspberry and Chamomile. Designed as a rosé-like equivalent with a beautiful sweet floral tone. Our favourite is NON7 Stewed Cherry and Coffee, a spicy-sweet mix of cold brew, sour cherry and spice.

With more people looking for alcoholic alternatives, temperance pairing is slowly becoming more available at restaurant establishments and trendy bars have gotten on board offering Seedlip or Lyre’s to dry customers.

Keen to try NON but not ready to commit to a full bottle (priced at $30)? Well NON is currently listed at some of the country’s finest venues, including P&V Wine & Liquor Merchant and Alberto’s Lounge in Sydney; Africola and Osteria Oggi in Adelaide; Supernormal, Sunda and Blackhearts & Sparrows in Melbourne; and Wise Child Wine Store in Fremantle.

For more information or to purchase, visit NON.World