NON Isn’t a Non-Alcoholic Wine, So What Is It Then?

NON Wine

Aaron Trotman was on a European getaway with his pregnant wife when he made a decision. The two had been eating their way through countless fine-dining restaurants where they were experiencing foods paired with non-alcoholic drinks for the first time.

“I had never seen or tried anything like that in Australia, and it stuck with me,” Trotman tells The Latch. “I continued to look for these non-alc pairings at restaurants back in Melbourne [where he lives], and eventually realised you couldn’t buy this type of drink anywhere. I wanted to do something to change that.”

NON was born in 2019. Today, it has seven different flavours, named 1 to 7, and is stocked at Dan Murphy’s and countless local bottle shops. It’s also served at top Australian restaurants, including Supernormal, ESQ Bar, and Dining and Sunda.

NON Wine
Image: NON

Though it’s often described as a wine alternative, it’s more than that. In fact, Trotman says the brand takes pride in the fact that it doesn’t try to replicate the flavour of any alcoholic beverage.

“We focus less on what was taken away — the alcohol — and more on the level of experimentation this allows,” he says. “No one in the world is cooking natural produce and turning that into craft beverages the way NON is. Ultimately, I think this is the future of the beverage industry.”

As for how each flavour is developed, Trotman calls it a complex process, with the first step being to pull together ingredients the team thinks will be interesting together, and that will challenge what people would normally expect when it comes to flavour combinations.

NON Wine
Image: NON

“The next step is flavour development, where we begin to break down the ingredients we want to isolate, and then we have an understanding of what cooking technique we will need to prepare the ingredients we’ve chosen to extract maximum flavour.

“We conduct up to 50, sometimes 80, trials to achieve the right flavour balance through roasting, cooking, dehydrating and stewing real food, and eventually bottling up.”

The result? Flavour combinations include salted raspberry and chamomile, caramelised pear and kombu (kelp seaweed), and stewed cherry and coffee. Trotman says more flavours will also be in the works, as he continues to innovate and evolve his product offering.

The latest offering is a tour of NON’s headquarters in Melbourne suburb Cheltenham, a 30-minute drive outside the city. Offered the first Friday of every month from 9.00am to 4.00pm, the one-hour tours will have just 10 spots per session. They will finish with a food pairing with all of NON’s seven flavours.


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“Guests will not only have the unique opportunity to witness the inner workings of the brand and to experience the art of non-alcoholic beverage making first-hand, but they will also see how we prioritise sustainability in everything we do,” says Nick Cozens, NON’s kitchen lead.

Trotman says NON consumers are diverse because non-alcoholic members of society differ so much. Though, their common thread in personality is a displeasure with the status quo.

“They respect traditional, yet revel in reinvention and they welcome flavour experiences,” he says. “NON’s greatest appeal will exist among those who are interested in moderation and are exploring balance with alcohol.”

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