The good people at Soho hot spot Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels know how to craft a bloody good wine list. As New York grows more and more specialized in its wine bars (wine bars exclusively for orange wine! Natural wine only bars! Wine bars owned by LCD Soundsystem!) it’s refreshing to find a place that stocks their list with wines that are just exciting. Conversation starters for all tastes. Case in point, during my most recent visit, I asked my sommelier to recommend a wine he was really grooving and without hesitation, he pointed me to a petnat.
There are folks out there who treat petnats like Kanye at the Met Ball – excessively funky and unable to make up their minds what they are trying to be. Is it a sparkling? Kind of. Is it easy drinking? Definitely not. Petnats often taste like the wine you’d expect to be made in a barnyard, so it is fitting that this straight up violet petnat comes from an actual farm in the Southfork of Long Island.
Southold Farm + Cellar’s “Chasing Moonlight“, 2015 Sparkling Lagrein is a weird-ass mouth sensation. Lagrein, a grape grown primarily in Italy but which has seen some success in Long Island (notably Channing Daughters), is a grippy and brooding grape, with medium acidity and a lot of power. I’ve found Lagrein to be really hit or shit, especially for the price, but this fella was a goddamn winner. Full of black fruit, this brambly beast gave me cassis, blackberry, black cherry and prune notes, with incredible acidity that cut right through the relatively high tannins. The funky, still-fermenting sensation of the wine hits you at the front (and can be quite unsettling, almost like drinking an off-Lambrusco), but the finish was astonishingly complex.
Petnats are an ideal mid-spring wine, as they can feel highly refreshing, but they are usually a lot bolder (even the whites) than your average sparkling wine. California is doing a lot in the petnat space, but I highly recommend you look at what New York State has to offer, as we are sure to run out of our rosé again and no-one wants to be stranded at the beach with nothing but some budget Chardonnay.
Price: $27.99 – order from Southold Farm + Cellar