Redefining the wine occasion using the natural world, NON dares not mimic the mainstream or traditional taste we associate with wine, and instead deconstructs real products to create real drinks, with no booze. Merging techniques and ingredients found within fine dining kitchens across Europe, and loved by world-famous chefs, restaurants, bar owners, and self-proclaimed foodies from around the globe to produce the future of drinks.
Founded by Aaron Trotman, a serial entrepreneur and foodie on a mission to create the perfect alternative to wine. Something for every occasion. NON is an intricate balancing act of flavour built from the ground up with key notes of fruit, tannin, salinity & acidity. The ingredients are the highlighted heroes creating a look & feel often seen in fine dining menus, paired with a bold, minimalist design.
I sat down with the founder of NON, Aaron Trotman to discuss the journey of NON and what the future holds.
What was the inspiration to create NON?
The inspiration for NON came from a trip to Europe with my wife, where we first experienced sophisticated non-alc pairings at fine dining restaurants. I continued to explore non-alc pairing menus at hatted restaurants in Melbourne where I then realised you couldn’t buy this level of drink in a bottle yet in Australia. From there, NON was born.
How do you come up with each of the flavours?
When coming up with a new flavour, we first work out the ingredients that we think we think would be interesting and challenge what people would expect for flavour combinations. It’s all about thinking of something that sounds tasty, and just trying it out.
From here, we go into flavour development breaking down what part of the flavour of the ingredients we want to isolate. We then have an understanding of what cooking technique we will need to prepare the ingredients we’ve chosen to extract maximum flavour, but delicately nuanced. A dehydrated orange is very different from orange juice.
We conduct around 30-50 (sometimes 80) trials to get the right nuance and balance through roasting, cooking, dehydrating/ stewing real food. Each technique gives a completely different flavour.
Why do you think there has been a shift to non alcoholic wine?
We aim to pull sobriety out of this taboo zone it’s forever been sanctioned to. Non-alcoholic spirits and beer have become more and more popular, with some great tasting drinks on the market. This has drawn more attention to the non-alcoholic category as a whole. There has also been a mix of new brands in the non-alc space (Heaps Normal) alongside established brands supporting the shift to the non-alc category (Heineken 0.0), creating an opportunity for consumers to recognise that brands that specialise in the category might offer a more unique experience.
What’s next for NON?
We are always aiming to continue pushing boundaries in the non-alcoholic beverage space.
NON8 was the first release of our capsule collection, which launched in September. It’s a limited edition series that will challenge consumers to think differently about the way they drink. This is all we can reveal for this year, but far more exciting news to come as we move into 2024.
If you had to pick one – which of the creations would be your favourite and a must try?
I’m a big fan of NON1, Salted Raspberry & Chamomile. It is the easiest expression to understand from a flavour and ingredients perspective, but it’s an incredible accompaniment for any occasion. NON1 is a sparkling, non-alcoholic wine alternative that offers a balanced sweet and salty profile. The chamomile provides lingering tannins for a floral finish and it pairs beautifully with citrus-forward salads, creamy desserts, and cured meats. Perfect for sundown, golden hour moments, and sipping during the spring season – it will be my go-to for the next few months!