What the Heck Is Pét-Nat (Other Than the Next Sparkling Wine You Need to Try)?

You know the ins and outs of sparkling wine like nobody’s business…but have you really tried it all? It turns out, pétillant-naturel is the sparkler you haven’t heard of…yet. Here’s why it deserves a spot on your to-drink list.

Pétillant-naturel, or “pét-nat,” is actually nothing new: It’s even older than Champagne. It’s also made differently. Pétillant-naturel is bottled and capped, then left to ferment and produce carbon dioxide in its bottle, whereas Champagne ferments once in a tank and again in-bottle. The former makes for a softer, more variable carbonation than a typical sparkling wine. (Softer bubbles means more discernible aromas and flavors.)

What’s more, pétillant-naturel comes in all sorts of varieties, from reds to whites (and yes, rosés). And because they’re fermented in the bottle, winemakers have less control over the final result, and almost no two wines are alike. The style is typically thought of as Champagne’s earthier, more experimental cousin. Read: It’s totally fine to pop a bottle on at a barbecue…or on a Tuesday.

The best way to get your hands on a bottle? Head to your local wine store and ask for a “pét-nat,” then thank us later.

Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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