Have you heard the term “natural wine” lately and wondered what it was? Today on SOMM TIPS, we asked Keri Levens to tell us what all the fuss is about. Is natural wine just a trend, or is it a larger, artisanal movement in wine that’s here to stay?
Natural wine has been getting a lot of buzz lately, on the Instagrams of tastemaking celebrities and on the wine lists of newer, hip restaurants throughout the world. It is known to be funkier, more fruit-forward and “juicier” than conventional wine. But what makes a wine natural?
In short, natural wines are known to have “low intervention” in their winemaking, from field through fermentation. Farming is done organically (or biodynamically), meaning nothing is added to the soil. No yeast or sugar is added during fermentation of natural wine, so only the natural yeasts that exist on the surface of the fruit are responsible for fermentation; in conventional winemaking, a variety of yeasts can be chosen to have less variability in wine year over year.
Natural wines might even prevent hangovers, but “it depends how much you drink,” Levens warns. Look for importers who specialize in natural wines at your local wine shop, and don’t be afraid to try something new. These bottles can be a great opportunity to explore wine from less popular wine growing territories, like Georgia, Czechoslovakia, and lesser known regions of France. They tend to express the unique personality of their winemaker. “They’re a love letter from the vineyard to you,” says Levens. “Every glass is its own adventure.”
Thanks to Keri Levens for hosting today’s SOMM TIPS, and to Irving Bottle for letting us shoot in their beautiful natural wine shop! If you liked this video and love food and wine, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Instagram. Thanks for watching!