Sparkling wines get a little bit of a bad rap and have been unfairly typecasted because they are often only associated with celebratory events and special occasions. The reality though, is that bubbles are perfect for everyday drinking. Particularly pet-nats, an ancient style of sparkling wine that’s seeing a revival among fans of fresh, effervescent, vibrant wines.
Pet-nat - short for the French pétillant-naturel, which translates to naturally sparkling - is the original bubbly wine, produced at least hundreds of years before the Champagne method was invented (the pet-nat method is also known as méthode ancestrale, or ancestral method). Wine is bottled partway through its fermentation and sealed, capturing the carbon dioxide that naturally occurs during fermentation, giving the wines their effervescence.
The method helps accentuate fresh fruit flavors, preserves aromatics (often floral and herbal), and they’re frequently unfiltered, adding texture and body. They’re vibrant and bright and ridiculously refreshing: perfect for hot days and warm nights.
This is a longtime customer and staff favorite at Hop City, recently making its return to Atlanta after a multiyear absence. Made in New Zealand by the people behind Otto’s Constant Dream Sauvignon Blanc, this sparkler is likewise made from 100% sauv blanc. Orbis Moderandi is full of the flavors of kiwi, lime and preserved lemon, with just a hint of toasty yeastiness. $21.99; Available at West End and Krog
L'AMOUR DU RISQUE
Produced by Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours in Bordeaux, this rosé bubbly is made from biodynamically grown Cabernet Franc. Delicate scents of rose petals and freshly plucked strawberries greet the nose, while the palate is treated to additional notes of strawberries and undertones of raspberry and tropical fruit. $34.99; Available at Krog and West End
When it comes to wine, Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region may be known mostly for Lambrusco, but winemaker Mirco Mariotti has made his mark with a pet-nat made from the white Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes (he also makes a wonderful rosé pet-nat). Smarazen showcases flavors of tangy citrus, with an undercurrent of savory dried herbs. It's fresh and easygoing, with moderate sparkle. $24.99; Available at Fayetteville, West End and Krog
LOS CHUCHAQUIS ALBARINO
Los Chuchaquis is the experimental arm of California’s Stirm Wine Company. Featuring Albariño grapes grown in both the Sierra Foothills and Santa Ynez Valley, their pet-nat is exuberant and zesty, with tropical fruits, whispers of jasmine and a hint of sea spray. With plenty of fizz and light and nimble on the palate, this wine is incredibly refreshing and just downright enjoyable. $28.99; Available at Krog
CARBONISTE BRUT NATURE PINOT GRIGIO PET-NAT
As a top seller in our stores, Carboniste's 'Mackerel' has been highlighted previously but always deserves another shout-out. Husband-and-wife team Dan and Jacqueline Person focused on a new approach to sparkling wine that they feel works best with the specific character of California fruit. They utilize a combination of approaches - aspects of traditional method and pet-nat method - to create a unique style of bubbles. The Pinot Grigio Brut Nature is fresh, clean and light, with flavors of lemony citrus and lightly yeasty notes. $31.99; Available at Krog, West End and Fayetteville