Do you like natural wines? Bubbles? If you answered yes to the two above, Petnat is exactly what you were looking for.
You just found out what those PetNats are that the sommelier recommended to you at your favorite restaurant with the fish you like, but finally, you got stressed and chose that white Burgundy that seemed more familiar, and unfortunately more expensive.
So what is this new trend somewhere between orange, fruity, sparkling, and natural that no one has fully understood?
Definition and history
Pet Nat: Comes from the French Pétillant Naturel, that is, natural sparkling wine.
The technique (méthode ancestrale as it is called) was discovered in the 16th century by accident by a monk who noticed bubbles in his wine. The one who finally got the credit was Christian Chaussard, however, much later, when he brought it back around the 90s somewhere in the Loire. Now it has become a trend for all those who love natural wines but cannot do without the bubbles.
Story time. At Pet Nat, we trap the CO2 that yes, is produced by the yeasts anyway in the alcoholic fermentation, by sealing the bottle before the fermentation is completed. This is how the bubbles are created that we forcefully keep inside the bottle because you want them, what can we do? We let them enjoy their time in the wine, floating in it gracefully until it reaches your glass. And no it is not Champagne, firstly because there we have two fermentations and we trap the CO2 produced in the second fermentation, and secondly because Champagne is produced exclusively in the Champagne region in France!
And what will I try?
What to expect from a Pet Nat? No matter how fancy the title seems to you, it is still a natural wine, which means that it has been made with the minimum possible interventions of the oenologist. The best examples have excellent balance and freshness, are juicy, and have aromas of orange, citrus, apricot and sometimes tropical fruit. Other times they have a vegetal character and some less friendly aromas may arise, for example, barn, and yeast aromas, while in the mouth you may be able to distinguish the few sugars that were left unfermented. In Pet Nat, you will find lower carbon dioxide than that in the Champagne (it is quite bubbly) and also lower alcohol. And watch that out. If a wine with the minimum intervention by the oenologist can exist without flaws then perhaps we should value authenticity
How long should I keep it?
Pet Nats are wines to drink now. Upon release, they are considered ready for consumption. Of course, they can stay for 2-3 years, but it is not the wine that deserves to take up space in your wine fridge for a long time, waiting to develop. It has nothing to do with the sparklings we're used to, and that's what gives them a very specific and special style that if you haven't tried yet, you should start.
Why should I take Pet Nat?
They are relatively economical compared to other sparkling wines, with their own style, low alcohol, and natural vinification, and you can combine them with a thousand things. What are you waiting for?