Of the wines that Mathieu told us about at the Farmers Market (the call of natural wine) I was initially most excited about the Natural Prosecco, the Costadila Bianco Vino Frizzante da Tavola from Italy. I have been reading about Pet Nats and was curious about this wine of a similar style.
First…Pet Nats: Petillant – Naturel, a natural way of making a sparkling wine. Rather than adding yeast and sugar to create the secondary fermentation that creates the bubble in Champagne, (Methode Champenoise) this method called Methode Ancestrale just allows the initial fermentation to finish in the bottle without any additions. The lees (dead yeast) are left in the bottle where they settle to the bottom. If you turn the bottle upside down it will make the wine cloudy (think Kombucha).
We opened this bottle on New Years Eve and I will admit, that while I was excited to taste it, New Years probably had me primed for bubbles. The bottle was capped and had a plastic insert which popped out as soon as the bottle cap was released. The wine itself was orange tinted and cloudy with savory bits on the nose. The bubbles quickly dissipated, but the wine still retained that fizzy feeling on your tongue. The nose was both familiar and strange and at first off putting (again, I think my brain was stuck in Champagne mode). As the wine opened up, the nose rounded with a comforting waft of barnyard and a bit of warm wet leather. In my mouth it sat like a light cider with warmth and tartness and a lingering hint of spices and that light tingling sensation on my tongue.
This wine sneaks up on you. You begin drinking it, contemplating it, and then quietly your mind drifts and you just continue comfortably enjoying it. It’s like your most comfortable shoes or your favorite pajama’s, or like an old friend, the one you don’t dress up for, the one you don’t mince words with and often sit with comfortably in silence.
So, lesson learned. I opened this bottle at the wrong time! Everything has a place. This is not fireworks and New Years Wine, this is curl up in your favorite pj’s with your favorite movie that you are going to watch for the 30th time wine.