Raspato, Pet Nat, Italy (bottle price £22)
You may have heard people talking about Pet Nat wine in the past, and instead of admitting you have no idea what they're talking about, you nodded along, right? Hey, this is a judgment-free zone - we've all been there...
A Pet Nat (short for the French 'pétillant naturel' meaning ’natural sparkling') is a wine made according to the ancestral method. Developed in the 16th century, this is the oldest way of making sparkling wine, and is the result of a single, continuous fermentation. What this means is that fermenting juice is bottled while it is still fermenting, i.e. while the yeast is still consuming the grape sugars in the juice. This results in the fermentation then continuing inside the bottle; trapping CO2 in the process, which is given off by the yeast. The resulting wine therefore has bubbles in it.
Most sparkling wine on the UK market tend to be either really fresh and fruity with high acidity or more rich and biscuity. The Raspato is completely different. The bubbles are not as intense and because the yeast is left in the bottle it takes on more of those brioche and toasty flavours. Backed up by soft red fruits such as a russet apple this is an intriguing wine where every sip draws you in more and more. Pet Nat is here to stay and great with food.