Unionville Vineyards 2018 Riesling Petillant-Naturel
Spring is finally here, and I’ve started drinking more rose and sparkling wine to celebrate the sunshine! This weekend I enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine out on my balcony and it was the perfect late-afternoon pick-me-up. I popped a bottle of Petillant-Naturel, or Pet-Nat, that one of my friends got me for my birthday. It was from a local New Jersey winery, Unionville Vineyards. My friend has lived in the Philadelphia area for about 5 years, and when I moved up to New Jersey she took me to Unionville Vineyards and mentioned that it was the only winery she’s found in Eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey that she actually likes, and I was very impressed by the wine! New Jersey isn’t exactly known as a strong wine region, but this wine was very enjoyable!
Pet-nat is a style of sparkling wine. It’s wine that’s been bottled and capped before it has finished fermenting, so that it continues to ferment in the bottle, which creates the bubbles. This particular pet-nat was made with a dry riesling. Because Pet-Nat is “finished” in the bottle, it is sometimes characterized as the edgy little sister of champagne and prosecco. The winemaker can’t taste the finished wine before bottling it, so they can’t know exactly how each bottle will turn out. It’s often less refined and can have some funkier notes than you would find in most main stream sparkling wines. This particular Pet-Nat definitely fit that more unconventional mold. On the nose, it had a crisp citrusy note, with some solid minerality, which makes sense with it being a riesling. On the back end, however, it has king of barnyard, musky notes. Like if the scent of hay and farm animals was in the wine, but in a good way. It was fresh and interesting, and perfect to sip on in the afternoon. I enjoyed this wine with a small cheese plate, which was a great pairing. I also think it would go great with a very light fish, maybe tilapia fish tacos with a tangy sauce. I just love that it’s a more unique sparkling wine.