What the F*** is Pet-Nat? (Pettilant-Naturel)
What the fuck is Pet-Nat? Where did it come from? And how is it blowing up wine stores across the country? Is it just the latest hipster trend in winemaking or is this going to be a full on romance we have with a wine style like how we love Rose? To really find out, you have to try for yourself but allow us at Vynl to explain.
Petillant Naturel is one of the latest crazes in wine because it is something we can all very easily get in to. Whether you are a wine expert who loves exploring unique things or a total novice who just loves a good drink, Pet-Nat will make you happy. It is a lightly fizzy, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sweet wine that is made using natural principles. Like most things happening in natural wine right now there are not a lot of rules or regulations to follow so winemakers are going crazy with it. You could in theory make Pet-Nat wines from any grape, and we have seen them as far ranging as Chenin Blanc, Gamay, Grenache, and even Cabernet Sauvignon to make some really fun wines. Winemakers are going crazy with this method.
So what makes Pet-Nat different from Champagne and other sparkling wines? The method of making Petillant Naturel is known as "Methode Ancestral" and actually predates the "Methode Traditional" used in making Champagne. While Champagne is given a second fermentation by adding sugar and yeast to the wine, Petillant Naturel wines are actually bottled before the first fermentation is complete. The natural yeast in the wine continues to chow down on the sugars from the grapes which gives us the byproduct of CO2 and causes the little bubbles. Science bitch!
What we get from Pet-Nat is a wine that really a simple pleasure. If Champagne gives you the images of popping bottles at clubs, or a party that would give Gatsby a hangover, then Pet-Nat is hanging out on a rooftop in Brooklyn with a bunch of friends. It is super easy to get into and enjoy, and while it may be a little funky, it can be a lot of fun. You really do not have to be a certified wino to enjoy this wine, but if you are (or you want to be) then this wine will check your boxes as well. If you are looking for a wine that is a true expression of terroir then Pet-Nats are definitely worth pursuing.
Also bubbles will make you smile, and who does not love bubbles. So go out there and buy Pet-Nats!