Pét-nat, or if you’re feeling fancy, petillant naturel, is delicious. It’s also zeitgeisty AF—your favorite mainstream food press site has likely shed some ink on the subject, from declaring it “The next rosé” (lol) to comparing it to the stuff of nudists (okay then). It’s a style of sparkling wine that pre-dates Champagne, with roots more in the farmhouse than the Grand Marques. Unlike Champagne, pét-nat undergoes just one fermentation, which happens in the bottle trapping a natural effervescence.
If you love drinking La Croix, you will love wines made in this style. And chances are, if you’re even modestly curious about drinking interesting wine in 2017, you’ve had a chance to try a pét-nat or three by now. But then along comes a festival dedicated to sampling the good stuff, and we just had to put a spotlight on it.
Fête Nat (great name!) is a festival of pet-nat wines, and it happens in Chicago, Illinois this coming Sunday, July 30th. It’s hosted by Red & White Wines, a leading Chicago natural wine retail destination, and the tip of the spear for a city that feels like a lumbering natural wine giant just awakening from it slumber. Restaurants like Parachute and Bad Hunter are already major North American natty destinations—more on those soon here on Sprudge Wine.
Tickets for Fête Nat are available here in limited quantities, and my goodness, they’re going to be pouring some incredible shit for those lucky enough to score one. Expect 40+ wines on offer for fest-goers, in what must surely be one of the largest exhibitions of pét-nat North America has ever seen. “We’ve been looking for everything we can get here in Chicago,” Red & White retail manager Paul Courtright tells Sprudge, “and additionally have special ordered some stuff not available in the Chicago market.”
Courtright & co. are rightly excited to be offering a 5 bottle vertical of sparkling wines from Les Capriades, a specialist pét-nat producer in the Loire Valley, as well as another five bottles of bubbles from Partida Creus of Catalunya, Spain. Some clutch North American caps will also be popped at the fest, including wines from Minimus (Oregon), Scar of the Sea, Coturri and Cruse Wine Co. (California).
Red & White Wine fans know the shop has built out a lovely bar space next to its retail shop, whose opening has been delayed due to a morass of unfortunate, over-extracted, unappetizing red tape from the city—a UC Davis Cult Cab Frankenwine of municipal bullshit, basically. The bar will open soon, and in the meantime events like Fête Nat offer Red & White a chance to show off the bar as an events space.
The event is this Sunday, with tickets still available. If you’re anywhere near Chicago, go drink these fizzy wines.
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Jordan Michelman on Sprudge Wine.
Unicorn Mouse event poster art by Catie Olson for Red & White Wines, used with permission.
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder of Sprudge. His writing has appeared in T Magazine, The New York Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and Willamette Week.