It's not really PET NAT WEEK anymore. That was back in July. But we're always love a good Pet-Nat or ten, so we'll keep the fun going. And the Pet-Nat Week posters are so cute, that we just can't give them up.
Now you may be asking, what is Pet-Nat? And even if you aren't, we'll tell you anyway.
Pet-nat is cool kid short for 'petillant naturel.' It's an old-school method of getting bubbles into a bottle of wine. Essentially, the initial fermentation is halted, usually by simply setting the barrel in a cold room. This partially fermented wine is then bottled, sealed with a pop top, and when warmer weather comes, the remaining yeast and sugar continue their fermentation process, with the bubbles contained within the bottle. Unlike Champagne (or sparkling wines made using the same method as Champagne), no yeast or sugar is added and the wine isn't filtered - so you'll get a little bit of very natural, quick-dissolving sediment in the bottle. It's also a less controlled method of getting bubbles into the wine. Once bottled, you hope the wine continues to ferment - enough to go dry or almost dry - but not so very much that it explodes. So pet-nats can be a bit of a wild ride.
It's also a style that lends itself to all sorts of grapes (and apples... and honey....), so below, you'll see bubbles from places as wide ranging as France, Italy, Vermont, Missouri, New York, Greece, Maine, Canada, in all the colors of the wine rainbow - white, red, pink, and orange. And their just the thing for sipping when you want a little bit of bubble but don't want to commit to the seriousness (or the cost) of a classic Champagne.
Give one (or more) a try - they'll make you happy!