Zero-alcohol wine alternative Non delivers flavour, body and complexity, minus the booze
Slowly but surely, the alcohol market is shifting in a number of ways. More people are seeking out higher-quality, locally produced booze and are drinking less of it. There’s also a fair chunk of 30-somethings nowadays that choose to not drink alcohol at all. Fundraisers like Dry July and Ocsober are encouraging thousands of regular drinkers to try a month off the sauce. Plus, we can’t forget the large cross section of social sippers that have come to the grim realisation that, no matter how many burgers and Beroccas we consume, we just don’t bounce back from hangovers like we used to in our early 20s. These changing habits have forged a pathway for (quality) no-alcohol alternatives, and one of the newest arrivals in the booze-free sphere is Non.
Alongside other non-alcoholic offerings like distilled spirit Seedlip and native Australian booze-free beer Sobah, Non identifies as a zero-alcohol alternative to wine. A brainchild of ex-Noma chef William Wade and branding whiz Aaron Trotman, Non is built with similar production methods and flavour profiles to wine, offering sippers a beverage that’s just as deep and complex as the real thing. William’s fine-dining skills have provided the building blocks for the Melbourne-made Non range, developing each variation with the same process he’d use to create a new dish. Different culinary techniques are used to bring out the best of the fruits and aromatics used in the Non drinks, while intriguing ingredients like kombu (for minerality) and olive brine (for saltiness) add a level of complexity normally only afforded by alcohol-based beverages.
Boasting similarities to pet-nat wine and designed to be paired with food, the initial three Non varieties are a bold reflection of William’s interpretation of the season’s best ingredients, shining a light on key growing regions in Australia and across the world. The first is a fruity number (inspired by one of William’s past dessert dishes) made with salted raspberries, chamomile, Murray River salt, organic cane sugar, verjus and filtered water. The second is a little more punchy, made with caramelised whole pears, kombu, ginger, cardamom, peppercorn, star anise, black tea, clove, honey, vanilla, olive brine, verjus and filtered water. The third variation has a citrus lean, crafted with Japanese yuzu, Valencia oranges, toasted Sri Lankan cinnamon, Murray River salt, organic cane sugar, verjus and filtered water. A fourth, which is a collaboration with Melbourne restaurant Ides and based around roasted beetroot, is set to be released in the coming weeks. By the time the Non beverages are bottled, the sugar content is very low and given its all-natural, preservative-free state, the shelf life is around three months. Non is currently available at select restaurants and bars in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, and is expected to arrive in local Gold Coast and Brisbane venues this spring. For more information, head to the Non website.
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