The Wines I Love series at Twin Cities Wine is an easy way for me chronicle wines of distinctive personality that I seek out again and again. There is no price minimum or maximum (though I tend to hover in the $15-25 range quite a bit), and no allegiance to a specific region, producer, distributor, or dogma.
This is all about great juice that you can find at better wine shops in the Twin Cities.
Wine: Raza “Pet Nat” Sparkling wine
Place of origin: Vinho Verde, Portugal
Composition: 100% Trajadura.
More details: Sustainably and organically farmed vineyards, minimal intervention winemaking, bottled before fermentation is complete in order to capture a nice little spritz of CO2.
Price: $20 or so.
Local distributor: The Wine Company.
The buzz of the moment in the wine world is the all-encompassing phrase “natural wine,” which can mean many things and is a polarizing topic in itself, but at its most basic refers to minimal-to-no intervention winemaking.
Many natural wines, in my opinion, fall short. They are often too wild and too variable. This doesn’t imply they’re not delicious, just often inconsistent. Especially in the category of “Pat Nat,” or as cool kid young Somms say “Natty Wine.”
These are sparkling wines made naturally by bottling the wine ahead of the fermentation being done, resulting in a lightly sparkling wine that is often bone dry to the point of smelling and tasting like cider. If you can’t yet tell, I don’t meet a lot of Pet Nats that I seek out again and again.
This is the exception.
Aromas of orchard fruit galore, along with a delicate streak of floral happiness. What’s super neat about this wine is that it’s not teeth enamel ripping dry, but rather it’s balanced. Note I didn’t say sweet. The level of residual sugar on this wine is far less than many Sauvignon Blancs out there. It’s dry! It’s also damn refreshing on a hot day.
This is a great bottle to have at the ready when self-identified ‘natural wine’ fans come over, or just wine nerds in general. Odds are quite good they have never seen this before, much less had it.
Food pairings: how about a Pandora station featuring Moby, Florence and the Machine, or Beck?
Quinta do Raza is a favorite Vinho Verde producer of ours, and I’m super happy the local importer is bringing this in as well. 🙂
Where to find this wine? Search your favorite local fine wine shop and if they don’t have it ask for a special order. (Note on the whole “where to find a wine” question: I’m the last person to ask. I don’t know who has what in inventory at any given time. Best bet is to place a special order with your favorite retailer, or to contact the distributor for a list of who purchased it recently.)