As our fashion and beauty purchases shift towards conscious consumption and sustainable manufacturing, so too do our wines.
If you’ve been able to eat, drink or pre-game anywhere without coming across a bottle of ‘natural’ wine, then we can’t relate, as what seemed to once be a trend, has taken over our bar carts.
But while we indulge in the chic minimalist bottles and outfit-matching shades of vino, we can’t say for sure that we even know what it is we’re drinking, and if it’s actually as good for us as it tastes.
So, to quell our queries, we’ve tapped expert Mike Bennie from Sydney’s P & V Merchants for the squiz on ‘natural’ drops.
So, what is ‘natural wine’?
Well, it sounds self-explanatory but it’s actually a rather heated topic. Many wine connoisseurs prefer the term ‘low-intervention’ or ‘naked’ wines as technically most wines are natural (they are just grapes, after all). But when we say natural, what we mean are the wines that are farmed organically and made with minimal intervention, with no preservatives or additives.
But what Bennie tells us is that organic and biodynamic does not always equal natural, since some wineries still use additives, yeasts, and other forms of intervention with organic/biodynamic fruit.
What makes them so special?
According to Bennie, it was only a matter of time before the conscious consumer movement reached our glasses, but he believes natural wines have an organic appeal because they’re “full of personality, drinkable, delicious and diverse”.
And if you ask us, we love that they err on the lighter side of vinos, making them extremely drinkable (dangerously so), and perfect for the warmer months.
Ok, but what is a pét nat?
Pét-nat, short for Pétillant Naturel, is a type of sparkling wine that may have piqued your interest lately. However, despite the recent buzz, it actually consists of some very traditional wine-making methods.
One thing to note about this bubbly variety is that they can sometimes… explode. Meaning they just fizz the same way a shaken can of seltzer would.
But it’s not about how you store it. To put it simply, Bennie explains that “A by-product of the fermentation is carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the bottle, creating bubbles in the wines. Due to not always being fully accurate about how much sugar is left in the fermenting wine, the yeast can consume a bit more sugar and create extra pressure which causes pét-nats to gush. Open over your glasses and no issues!” he says.
Where can I get my hands on some?
The best part about drinking trends is that it’s usually not long before they hit mainstream restaurants, and if your local doesn’t have any, then check out any of these delivery services that will keep you well-stocked on the natural drops.