If you're looking for a new wine to try this weekend, I recommend Pét-Nat.
Short for Pétillant-Naturel, Pét-Nats are made by an ancient method in which they are bottled while still fermenting, creating fresh and lightly effervescent wines that range from dry to slightly sweet. They are not filtered, giving them a funky, earthy flavor reminiscent of cider that balances out the fruit notes and makes them appear cloudy in the bottle. (Pét-Nats are great for a beer or cider drinker looking to branch out to wine).
Pét-Nats can be white, rosé or red. They are made in a lot of wine regions from different grape varietals, but most often I see them from the Loire Valley, France and California.
Pét-Nats are fun, jovial wines to share with friends. Their effervescence and freshness makes them refreshing to drink and versatile with food. They are great outdoor party wines, pairing perfectly with sunshine as well as dips, cheese plates, and grilled hot dogs. To boot, they are also incredibly affordable.
Recommended Producers and Wines:
Onward Wines, Suisun Valley, California, 2014 (pictured) White wine | Malvasia grape | Dry | Citrus, musky floral notes
Réne Mossé 'Moussamousettes,' Angou, Loire Valley, France, 2014 Rosé wine | Cabernet Franc grape | Dry | Berry, dried earth notes
François Pinon, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France, NV White wine | Chenin Blanc grape | Dry | Apple, pear, chamomile notes
Vittorio Bera, 'Le Verrane,' Piedmont, Italy, 2012 Red wine | Barbera grape | Dry | Berry, savory herb notes | Serve cold, like a white or rosé