Over the past 10 years, pét-nats—those sometimes funky cousins of Champagne—have become a phenomenon on the wine scene. Unfiltered and cloudy, uninhibited and unpredictable, and bottled under a crown cap like soda pop, these sparklers have the exuberant nature and wild aromatics of other natural wines, but with bubbles to spare. They are made in the older, methode ancestrale style (pét-nat is short for pétillant naturel, or naturally sparkling), which involves spontaneous fermentation in the bottle and no dosage. Stylistically, they can range from minerally to sweet, rustic to Champagne-like. Drink them in a large wineglass to get full benefit of those aromas. But don’t be too fussy with pairings: Even the winemakers will tell you, these are casual wines that match well with almost everything.
FEBRUARY 13, 2017