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Non-alcoholic beverage NON is a godsend for teetotalling foodies

This complex, chef-created drink features options like a complex blend of pear, kombu, spices, and olive brine.

The idea of non-alcoholic beverages in food pairings has been extensively explored in the past few years, with some of Singapore’s more progressive restaurants offering unique blends of juices and tisanes to complement multi-course tasting menus. The teetotaller’s pairing, however, has so far eluded those who rarely eat out, as these beverages are usually created for specific dine-in experiences.

Enter Non: a series of wine alternatives designed to mimic the complexities of the alcoholic beverage through combinations of various preparations of fruits, herbs, spices and more. While restaurants have been offering non-alcoholic pairings for a while now, Non offers a unique opportunity: a shelf-stable product that eateries can stock readily, and consumers can enjoy at home.

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Shares Vinodhan Veloo, head sommelier at restaurant Cloud Street, “There are non-alcoholic wines out there though I’ve really not seen much here in Singapore and also from what I understand it is the larger and more commercial estates that take produce these. NON however seems to have come up with a category of drinks that really defy any kind of classification. This however is not new to us as we have been working on drinks very similar to these with the same kind of intensity and complexity. Except we haven’t really worked on the parts that the NON team does pretty well – stability. The products have a shelf life of several months and stay ok for about a week after being opened.”

There are non-alcoholic wines out there though I’ve really not seen much here in Singapore and also from what I understand it is the larger and more commercial estates that take produce these. NON however seems to have come up with a category of drinks that really defy any kind of classification. This however is not new to us as we have been working on drinks very similar to these with the same kind of intensity and complexity. Except we haven’t really worked on the parts that the NON team does pretty well – stability. The products have a shelf life of several months and stay ok for about a week after being opened.


  • Founders of Non, Aaron Trotman (left) and William Wade.

Behind the Melbourne-based Non’s flavours is Australian chef William Wade. Through his experience at Noma Copenhagen as well as at some of the hottest tables in New South Wales, Wade has created a series of bottled wine-inspired flavours labelled Non 1 to Non 5.

The lightly carbonated, salted raspberry and chamomile of Non 1 offers a fresh, fruit-forward experience similar to a petillant naturel (French for natural sparkling wine). Of course, there are also bolder flavours, too. Non 2, a mix of caramelised pear, kombu, olive brine and spices pairs well with aged and blue cheeses. Making each Non is not as simple as picking and combining ingredients. A fair amount of culinary alchemy goes into getting the flavour profiles right.

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Also, every bottle of Non features a base of verjus or the pressed, sour juice of unripened grapes, water and, occasionally, cane sugar, The idea of non-alcoholic beverages in food pairings has been extensively explored in the past few years, with some of Singapore’s more progressive restaurants offering unique blends of juices and tisanes to complement multi-course tasting menus. The teetotaller’s pairing, however, has so far eluded those who rarely eat out, as these beverages are usually created for specific dine-in experiences.

Enter Non: a series of wine alternatives designed to mimic the complexities of the alcoholic beverage made for centuries with fermented grapes and often drunk with breakfast in their countries of origin, and achieved with delicious potions containing fruits, herbs and spices. Behind the Melbourne-based Non’s flavours is Australian chef William Wade. Through his experience at Noma Copenhagen as well as at some of the hottest tables in New South Wales, Wade has created a series of bottled wine-inspired flavours labelled Non 1 to Non 5.

(Related: Singapore Cocktail Bar Association: preserving Singapore’s vibrant bar scene)

The lightly carbonated, salted raspberry and chamomile of Non 1 offers a fresh, fruit-forward experience similar to a petillant naturel (French for natural sparkling wine). Of course, there are also bolder flavours, too. Non 2, a mix of caramelised pear, kombu, olive brine and spices pairs well with aged and blue cheeses.

Making each Non is not as simple as picking and combining ingredients. A fair amount of culinary alchemy goes into getting the flavour profiles right. Also, every bottle of Non features a base of verjus or the pressed, sour juice of unripened grapes, water and, occasionally, cane sugar, restaurants here like Cicheti, Appetite and Cheek Bistro, are already in on it, stocking 750ml bottles of the different Non flavours.

“They offer more sophisticated and complex flavour profiles. And they are great to pair with food, specifically Non 4 with its vegetal, savoury and peppery components (roasted beetroot, sansho and black peppers, tamari, bay leaves and jalapeno). We now serve them at all our outlets as they are operationally convenient as well as tasty,” says Ronald Kamiyama, sommelier-partner of the Cicheti restaurant group.

The Non series is available from Plan-B.Asia.