NON: Restaurant Developed Zero-Alcohol Wine Alternatives

MELBOURNE | NON is one of the recent arrivals to the burgeoning zero-alcohol drinks segment. Being in lockdown for so long and wanting a few Zoom drinks with friends, but to not be drinking all of the time, it’s a part of the market I’ve become more and more interested in.

Co-founder Aaron Trotman had the idea for NON a few years back, posing a simple question inspired by the kinds of quality non-alcoholic meal parings that top restaurants like Attica and Momofuku Seiōbo were doing. “How to create a restaurant-calibre beverage, bottle it so it’s ready-to-drink, and market it successfully?” The result was NON.

NON bills itself as wine replacement, but it’s important to know that it’s not about non-alcoholic drinks that taste like wine. Rather, NON drinks are designed to be drunk in situations where you would drink wine. Like the aforementioned drink pairings at a restaurant. Think of them more as fancy carbonated tisanes (an infusion of dried fruits, herbs and spices in hot water).

There’s currently seven flavours in the range, with a rotating selection of seasonal bottles and collaborations with restaurants. I was sent three of the most popular flavours to try, and was impressed. The NON 1, Salted Raspberry and Chamomile, is designed to be drunk in situations where you’d enjoy a Pet Nat or a rose, and I enjoyed it with some cheese on a recently glorious Spring weekend. Another, the NON 3, features toasted cinnamon and yuzu. Treated like an aromatic white, I enjoyed it recently with some Japanese yakitori.

My interest in the zero-alcohol drink segment might have been sparked by a desire to drink less during lockdown, but with the increased availability of quality options like NON, I’m keen to keep trying more things like this when we’re free to eat and drink out once more.

You can order NON directly from their website, and find it at select bottle shops like Blackhearts & Sparrow. Also keep an eye out for it at top restaurants across the country,  like Sunda, Supernormal, Osteria Oggi, and Africola to name a few.

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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