Pét Nat - The Other Bubble

Katy Hayduk

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She’s been on the scene for centuries now, but is heading into this one completely revitalized by a new wave of young winemakers.  Extremely variable and hard to control, good pétillant-naturel (or ‘pét-nat’ for short, also called méthode ancestrale outside of France) can only be made by skilled winemakers that are able to highlight all of her best qualities. She’s the bubble everyone is talking about, and dying to bring to their next soireé.

The origins of pét-nat date back to pre-Champagne days, where in the French region of Limoux monks were using these methods to make a raw and rustic bubbly. Unlike other styles of sparkling wine, pét-nat is bottled prior to the full completion of the first fermentation. Carbon dioxide is then produced by natural sugars found in the grapes giving the wine its bubbly personality! The sediment is typically not removed, leaving the bottle slightly cloudy. When drinking, feel free to keep it cloudy or let the sediment settle to the bottom and gently pour out the wine as to not disrupt it.  If you’d like to give pét-nat a try, stop by to chat with us or read below for some of our favourites we think you’ll enjoy:

Paltrinieri "Radice" Lambrusco $27.50 (all in)

Located near the city of Modena, Paltrinieri has been a  family run winery for three generations. Paltrinieri are sparkling wine specialists, focusing on the Lambrusco di Sorbara grape native to this region. Radice means “roots”, and is made in the methode ancestrale style. This bubbly is much lighter in color than your average Lambrusco offering a soft salmon pink hue. Pink grapefruit zest, subtle red berry notes, and persistent acidity are complimented by a soft, fleeting bubble in this bone dry wine. Radice is perfect sipped by itself or alongside a charcuterie board filled with your favourite cured meats.

Testalonga "I Wish i was a ninja" - $45.50

Craig and Carla Hawkins are easily one of South Africa’s leading producers of natural wine. The back of their bottles are cleverly labeled “made with grapes” because they are made with just that, grapes!  ‘I Wish I Was a Ninja’ is made from 100% Colombard, a grape traditionally used as blending grape for Brandy. Although it is one of the most planted grape varietals, it is rarely seen on its own. Don’t let that discourage you - treated properly, this grape offers bright acidity, notes of ripe citrus and stone fruits, and elegant minerality.  Described as an “lemonade for grown-ups”, this wine explodes on the palate with fresh apples and juicy peaches. Skip the neighbor’s kid’s stand and pop a bottle of this instead!

Birichino pétulant naturel - $46.50

When drinking this bubbly there is no need to check the weather because as Birichino states, the forecast for this wine is “cloudy with a chance of amazeballs.”  Silly as the tagline may be, this delightfully refreshing and elegant pét-nat drinks of white blossoms, nectarine and citrus. Grapes are grown in the cool climate of California’s Central Coast with minimal intervention to produce high quality wines. that give the drinker utmost pleasure amongst consumption. In Italian, Birichino translates to “naughty or mischievous”.  What’s more trouble than a 13% alcohol, refreshing pét-nat that will have you removing any inhibitions in thoroughly indulging this summer?