Your guide to NON - alcoholic-free wine alternatives
Choosing to jump off the wagon doesn’t have to be a boring experience! There are so many options out there, providing non-drinkers with delicious alcohol-free drink alternatives that I honestly can’t find a reason to pick up an alcoholic beverage ever again. Aussie brand NON has created a range of 5 alternatives to wine, each inspired by a different alcoholic variety. Read on to learn a little more about this phenomenal range of wine alternatives available here at Sans Drinks.
What is a non-alcoholic wine alternative?
Alcohol-free wine, dealcoholised wine and non-alcoholic wines are all actual wine that has has the alcohol removed after production. Wine alternatives are wine-style non-alcoholic drinks that have been specifically created to replace wine. Generally, these have never contained wine or alcohol, but are instead 'wine-inspired'.
The production methods of non-alcoholic wine vs alcoholic wine are generally much the same, allowing the alc-free versions to still retain a bold, full-bodied wine flavour long after the alcohol has left its system. NON is different as it takes a completely new look at how a wine alternative is made. We’ll talk more about that a little later on though.
If you’re sick of the plain old soda water, find lemon, lime and bitters lacking, or just want to enjoy the taste of a unique adult wine-style drink without the hangover or the long-term health concerns, then a wine alternative like NON is a real game-changer.
How are NON beverages made?
Technically, NON is a tisane, which is technically a beverages made from the infusion of herbs, spices and other plants. Each bottle of NON has it's own unique flavour, made from separate infusion of dried fruits, herbs, spices and other all-natural ingredients, steeped in hot water and verjus (acidic juice from unripe grapes and other sour fruits that provides a wine-like taste) to draw out an array of delicious and unique tastings.
Firstly, the ingredients are roasted, dehydrated and sous vide. Then the magic happens: the steeping! Once the ingredients have transferred their flavour to the pristine filtered water, it is (in some cases) carbonated overnight. All of this happens in a similar way to how hops are added to beer, then strained.
Chef William Wade and Aaron Trotman dreamed up NON and figured that a tisane hadn’t really been marketed as a non-alcoholic wine alternative before – so they brewed it, bottled it and made it happen.
Why are NON drinks such a fantastic alternative to alcohol?
The drinks in the NON range are all based on different wine types, plus they are vegan and gluten-free, enabling a wide range of people to get their adult bevvie fix, without worrying about any ethical issues in the way these booze-free beauties are brewed.
The number one reason why NON beverages are so highly sought after is all due to the mind behind the business: William Wade. Feel like you’ve heard that name before? You probably have. William Wade ran Long Time No Sea on the South Coast of NSW AND managed to do a stint at the world-class Noma restaurant in Copenhagen working on their non-alcoholic drink and food pairings.
He moved back to Aus, bringing a wealth of knowledge with him and that was when he and Trotman joined forces to create a brand that would bring something a little out of the ordinary to the global drinks market.
The drinks are inspired by dishes that Wade used to serve in his restaurant, so they are the perfect companions to a range of meals, but they’re also perfectly delicious on their own.
Are there any health benefits to drinking alcohol free beverages?
Yes. We all know just how harmful alcohol can be to our bodies in the long run. Heart disease, liver failure and other frankly a whole raft of conditions can arise if we indulge in the booze too often for too long. NON tackles this issue head on, taking out the alcohol entirely and coming in with all natural ingredients and no synthetic sweeteners or other artificial nasties.
There are also the health benefits of the all-natural ingredients themselves to consider: dried fruits, herbs and spices all contain beneficial properties when it comes to our bodies.
You’re also taking out the safety risks of having too many drinks. Even after you’ve had your fill of NON drinks, you can still drive, parent, work and live your life without hesitation.
Your Guide to NON wine alternatives:
Inspired by Pétillant naturel (pet nat) sparkling wine with dry and lengthy fruit tannins
This bottle of slightly carbonated goodness takes inspiration from a dessert that Wade perfected at his old restaurant. It takes the juicy, tart notes of fresh raspberries and soothes them with a dash of chamomile. A little Murray River salt is added to round out the flavour profile and provide a slightly salty undertone that works oh so well with sweet fruits.
It’s got a similar profile to that of a pet nat with dry and lengthy fruit tannins swooping in to steal the show. A vibrant raspberry red colour that is reminiscent of some varieties of Rosé makes this bottle a proper looker. You can add a little orange spritz for a citrusy vibe and pair it with a decadent dessert.
Inspired by a classic French Farmhouse Cider
Now, this may be a wine alternative, but it’s got a French Farmhouse Cider vibe about it that simply cannot be denied. Pears, kombu (edible sea kelp), ginger and cardamom are brought together with peppercorn, star anise, black tea, clove, agave, vanilla and olive brine. It’s all steeped in filtered water and verjus, then carbonated to create a highly unique flavour profile with a slightly woody aroma. It’s honestly delicious and pairs super well with chicken dishes and salads. YUM!
A non-carbonated dry white or an Aperitivo style
Ok, so this is one of my favourite wine alternatives in the entire NON range. I’m a sucker for Japanese food and I cannot recommend this as a pairing with Japanese food highly enough. It’s the only non-carbonated drink in the NON range (for now) and is similar to a dry white or an Aperitivo.
Organic cane sugar, verjus, filtered water, Murray River salt, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Valencia oranges and, of course, Japanese yuzu are expertly blended and steeped to perfection, drawing out a burnt floral citrus flavour profile with a slightly tart and semi-salty undertone.
When I say this non-alcoholic wine alternative is truly satisfying and takes on a role very much akin to the real thing (with a few contemporary tweaks), I mean it.
The perfect alternative to a traditional Sparkling Shiraz
Calling all lovers of sophisticated sparkling Shiraz! This deep red, 0% alcohol wine alternative is exactly what you need in your life. The natural extracts of beetroot, sansho and black pepper, tamari, bay leaf, jalapeno, houjicha and Murray River salt are all steeped in verjus and filtered water to create a generous blend with a cabernet-esque aroma.
Bring this bubbly beauty to your next BBQ feast or liven up Christmas day with this wine alternative that pairs perfectly with a scrumptious roast turkey.
It’s best served chilled so pop a bottle or two in your fridge to make sure you’re ready to indulge at the drop of a hat.
Inspired by a Petillant Farmhouse Gose (a sour fermented beer)
Now, this is a wine alternative with a difference. The difference being, it’s actually closer in flavour to that of a Petillant Farmhouse Gose (a sour fermented beer) than a traditional wine. How about that for innovation?
Lemon verbena, lemon myrtle, preserved lemon, lemongrass (there’s a theme here isn’t there), hibiscus, liquorice root, peppermint and Murray River Salt are steeped with Citra hops in a mix of organic cane sugar, verjus and filtered water to create this unique fusion of flavours.
A cheese platter or a seafood feast are the best pairings for this non-alcoholic wine/beer alternative, but it also tastes amazing on its own to relax with after a long hard day at work.
I hope this article has inspired you to try out some of NON’s unique, contemporary flavours that have been infused and bottled by a truly talented non-alcoholic drinks expert.
Let me know what you think!