The hipsters claimed it years ago, but its easy drinking style has meant Pe't-Nat is being embraced by a broader demographic.
Pe’t-Nat is an abbreviation for Pe’tillant Naturel, a French term that roughly translates to natural sparkling.
It’s a wine made according to the “methode ancestral’’, the oldest way of making sparkling wine, and is the result of a single, continuous fermentation.
But even if you’ve sampled a few bottles already, you may not know what exactly defines a Pe’t-Nat, or how these sparkling wines differ from other types of bubbly.
Traditional champagne and sparkling are made using one or more still wines with a small amount of yeast and sugary liqueur (Dosage). The combination is bottled, and the yeast eats the sugar in the liqueur.
This second, in-bottle fermentation produces the trapped carbon dioxide that gives these sparkling wines bubbles.
Pe’t-Nat is a much simpler version of this champagne process, rather than blending different dry wines and putting them through the secondary fermentation, Pe’t-Nat is bottled while still undergoing its first round of fermentation.
The second fermentation takes place in the bottle, causing it to carbonate with a natural spritz.
Minimal intervention is key to the whole process.
How does it taste you may ask? It’s not the most flavoursome of wines but it is refreshing and easy to drink. Perfect for day drinking at a picnic or barbecue.
Hipsters latched on years ago because it is organic by nature, unfiltered and totally natural. But as society in general is looking for healthier alternatives, it has gained popularity.
Natural it may be, but don’t assume a Pe’t-Nat is lower in alcohol. In fact, it can be higher than normal wine as it continues to ferment in the bottle. Certainly not one to be cellared. Also be prepared for a fair amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
If you’re feeling adventurous, visit your local Sense of Taste store and seek out the range of Pe’t-Nats on offer.