We Asked 9 Sommeliers: What Pét-Nat Are You Popping This Picnic Season?
Let’s be honest: The perfect picnic wine is whatever you want it to be. If you want to guzzle Barolo in the hot sun, be our guest. Generally, though, you’ll want something a little lighter in alcohol. Something you’re excited to open with friends, but also wouldn’t be heartbroken (or have to go into debt to buy more) if some spilled into the grass. It should be easily sippable on its own, but also pairable with summer salads, hot dogs, cheese boards, and whatever else might be lurking in your picnic basket. Enter the Pét-Nat. Short for pétillent naturel, this style of wine is bottled while undergoing its primary fermentation. It’s a little more rustic than your typical bubbly, and more prone to bright, fruity flavors.
So, in honor of picnic season, we polled sommeliers around the country for their favorite juicy, refreshing bottles. Here are their recommendations.
The best summer Pét-Nats, according to sommeliers:
- P.A.N.K Baró Rosé Pet Nat
- Dreamcôte Grenache Rosé Pét-Nat
- POE Van der Kamp Rosé of Pét Nat
- Lapati Kidev Erti Chinuri Pét Nat
- Mátyás Family Estate Samuel Pét Nat
- Jess Miller Wines Pet Sounds
- Mas Goma ‘L Alba al Turo” Rosato Frizzante
- Vivanterre White Pét Nat PRS
- Il Mostro “Longana” Rose Pét Nat
“I’m part of an all-women’s tasting group held at Ruffian, and we recently did a blind Pét-Nat tasting. The P.A.N.K Baró Rosé-Pét Nat was poured in my glass, and wow, it was my dream Pét-Nat. Fresh and juicy on the nose and palate. Funny enough, this is a Pét-Nat I would recommend to someone who loves Twisted Teas (like me). It’s made from the grape Kékfrancos (a.k.a. Blaufrankisch) from Köveskál, Hungary, from Attila Pálffy. The perfect park bottle with a rock star bright label.” —Tira Johnson, wine wirector, ILIS (opening this fall), Brooklyn
“Drinking Dreamcôte’s Grenache Pét Nat is exactly what I imagine Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated “Barbie” will be like: bubbly yet provocative, visually stunning, and any saccharine elements are balanced out with wit (or in the wine’s case, acid). But unlike waiting until the middle of July for the movie’s release date, you can enjoy [this wine] right now. Made with Grenache grapes from Rancho Cañada de los Pinos, a sustainably farmed vineyard in Santa Barbara County, the first time I sipped it I immediately was floating on cloud nine. The bubbles are soft and flirty, and it tastes like a slightly salty watermelon-lime-red berry agua fresca. It’s bright and juicy, and goes with everything from farmers market cherries to tinned fish and crackers.” —Natalie Pelletier, writer and sommelier, Los Angeles
“POE is one of three labels by Samantha Sheehan, an incredibly talented and up-and-coming California winemaker. POE bottles only single-vineyard wines, meant to display the truly amazing terroir of Sonoma and Mendocino. Van der Kamp vineyard has been farmed for over 100 years and the Pinot Munier vines are over 40 years old, which results in extremely concentrated fruit. POE Van der Kamp Rosé of Pét Nat has depth and complexity but still is remarkably refreshing. A summer favorite for sure!” —Justin Rodriguez, director of F&B operations, Shashi Group, Cupertino, Calif.
“I am personally obsessed with Lapati’s Pét-Nats. Phoenix is always warm — often hot — so crispy and approachable Pét-Nats always strike our fancy! Lapati Kidev Erti Chinuri Pét Nat, made from the indigenous Chinuri, is extremely balanced, farmed properly, and raised in clay amphorae. It’s a beautiful, floral, and tropical wine that I feel everyone can get behind. Georgia holds such important history in the wine world, and introducing these wines and stories to the public is really special.” —Blaise Faber, co-owner, Valentine, Phoenix
*“One of my favorite Pét-Nats is Mátyás Family Estate Samuel Pét Nat from Strekov, Slovakia. It’s perfect for those moments where it feels like spring has come to an end and summer is shining through. It’s invigorating, it’s raw, and it gives me all the crunchy bits of acidity I need while in the sun. This wine is also great to pair with some of my favorite summer meals like mushrooms and grilled vegetables. It’s easy to enjoy, but still a thought-provoking wine!” —Drew Brady, wine director, Overthrow Hospitality, New York City
“I first tried Jess Miller’s Pet Sounds at the inaugural Wine From Here festival last April in Oakland. Jess was in town and poured this pink magnolia-colored fizz into my glass. I expected a simple burst of summer fruit in my mouth like most Pét-Nats. Instead, the sip transported me to a riverside in Burgundy, gorging on freshly foraged blackberries. Jess learned to make wine with revered French natural winemakers like Clos Roche Blanche and Alice and Olivier de Moor. It is clear she has synthesized immense knowledge to farm and vinify such magnificent Pinot Noir. This is a wine worthy of a special picnic, not a last-minute one. Pet Sounds is for your soul friends. The belly laughter is sure to follow.” —Alexis “Bruxa” Schwartz, founder of #eb3’s ThirstyThirsty, San Francisco
“The Pét-Nat that I always want in the fridge for backyard BBQ’s, beach days, or just general cooling down is Mas Goma ‘L Alba al Turo” Rosato Frizzante. This organic Garnacha Tinta rosé from Catalonia, Spain, is a creamy strawberry crusher that can cool down even the most brutal New Orleans day. Truly an all-day wine, great with breakfast, awesome for midday heat, and crazy-good with all your nightly BBQ goodies.” —Luke Tabor, beverage director, Sneaky Pickle & Bar Brine, New Orleans
“The wine that comes to mind for elite summer vibes is Vivanterre White Pét Nat PRS. It’s a blend of 60 percent Chardonnay, 20 percent Pinot Blanc, and 20 percent Pinot Gris, so it’s refreshing and vibrant. Its light effervescence and low alcohol content make it possible to sip all day at a park hang or the beach. With its balanced flavors and elegant character, it pairs with a long list of summer snacks. To top it off, it’s all done naturally, and with heavy female influence. The founders at Vivanterre are a male and female duo, and the winemakers are a male and female duo.” —Emi Guimond, beverage director, Public Display of Affection, Brooklyn
“My current favorite Pét-Nat to drink in the summer sun right now is definitely the Il Mostro ‘Longano’ Rosé Pét Nat from Chieti-Abruzzo, Italy! This is a collaboration by Ricardi Campinoti and Nicolas Jasci, whose aim is to make soulful and playful wines that capture terroir. Made from 100 percent Montepulciano, this low-alcohol Pét-Nat is zesty with notes of pink grapefruit, berries, and watermelon. It’s just so easy and juicy.” —Sipha Lam, owner, Wilder Wines, Burlington, Vt.