You’re hip if you drink Pet Nat – say the hipster populations around the world.
Pet Nats have seen a remarkable revival Down Under, where it’s all about lo-fi or natural wines, the more environmentally friendly way of producing wines with less technical vinification to keep a natural balance in the vineyards and its surroundings.
How is Pet Nat a natural wine?
The term came from French words pétillant naturel (read: pet-ee-ont nat-ewe-rell), which means 'naturally sparkling'. Pet Nats are made with as little intervention as possible – nothing added, nothing filtered – and are bottled while still undergoing fermentation. It is the oldest method of making sparkling wine!
The result? Like Champagne, as Pet Nats are sealed with crown caps that trap a small amount of carbon dioxide, bubbles are created from the natural fermentation, but without limitations on grape types like the former.
Take 2021 La Violetta Spunk Nat – the spunkiest Pet Nat from Western Australia by the mischievous AJ Hoadley, made from quality Mount Barker Shiraz and Frankland River Riesling. Directly pressed, with few days of skin contact, and all wild ferment. Perfect for warm summer evenings with the right combination of fizz, piquant and tart. Smells like a light whiff of strawberries and cream, a smasher pair for salmon and summer salads.
How to recognise a Pet Nat?
The look? Pet Nats have strange colours, often cloudy, and always fizzy. Don’t be surprised by the often-present fine sediments in this natural wine as bottling is almost always done without fining, filtration or any additions of secondary sugars or yeasts, following the méthode ancestral. This is what makes each Pet Nat bottle a surprising yet rustic and simpler sparkling.
Take Dormilona made from Grenache, which is farmed organically and biodynamically, sans Sulphur, as with all other Jo Perry’s wines. The juicy red colour in presentation, like other indie producers, drops are sometimes cloudy or fizzy, a reflection of the vineyards organic and sustainable growing environments.
What does Pet Nat taste like?
The taste? Anything from berries to wildflowers, or moreish mostly with lingering pomegranate and rhubarb. And then there are also croissant or brioche-like aromas with fresh citruses or stone fruits elements on the palate. As Pet Nats can be white, rose, or red, they are super versatile when paired with foods.
Take 2021 Konpira Maru Mt Midoriyama Total Victory Pet Nat by Sam Cook and Alastair Reed, produced with 80% Sagrantino and 20% Vermentino – you will taste watermelon rind and Orangina, with candied strawberry and rosehip on the nose. Best paired with, yup, Char Koay Teow, chicken dishes (Chicken Rice?), shellfish or any other saucy, naughty treats that are full of onions and garlic! (wait, what? Chilli Crab?)
Pet Nats are mostly fresh and better enjoyed chilled and young, so try to have a glass of this flavourful natural wine with sushi, grazing board or salads... or scrap that and try them with local Singapore delicacies and let us know how it goes, eh?!
We at GoodMates aim to work with indie, lo-fi, natural winemakers who are most times one-man-operations in Down Under. So, expect more Pet Nats and natural wines offering from what used to be restaurant-only wines. And with a convenient online Australian grocery store based in Singapore, it’s easy to buy natural wine and more, and have them delivered wherever you are in Singapore.