Easter Pet Nat Hunt
Not to get into how the most sacred Christian holiday is associated with eggs and rabbits, we add more fun to the party – Pet Nat!
Both radish and horseradish, together with scallions, accompany Easter ham, followed by sweet bread, and that is only for breakfast. Not just any, but the Easter breakfast, and especially in Croatia.
Although wine is traditionally served, not much thought is traditionally given to wine pairing. Late breakfast usually lasts long enough to turn into a full course lunch, and one might want to sip on something to aid the digestion.
Easter breakfast wine?
The pairing issues are of secondary concern, but not for wine aficionados. The answer lies in something deliberately unfinished but beautiful and actually ideal for many purposes. Pet Nat is being rediscovered, all thanks to its catchy name. It sure does sound like a lot of fun. Pet Nat!
What is Pet Nat?
It is actually short for Petillant Naturel. And yes, it sounds French because it is a French word, but this type of sparkling wine was made all over, centuries ago. Hence the other name for it, Methode ancestral. Or Metodo ancestrale, because the Italians and others have their own tradition in making wines bottled before the fermentation is over, too. Col Fondo Proseccos, for example.
Croatian Pet Nat
So, why not Croatians? Indeed! It could be rustic and cloudy, or it could be fruity and disgorged before closing the bottle with a crown cap, but it will have a fizzy mouthfeel, low alcohol and a specific rawness, especially in dry versions. They are all truly refreshing, from crispy whites to funky reds. The first Pet Nat in Croatia was made recently by the Tomac family winery, named after their “Pet” dog, Hugo. Appropriately for the first Croatian Pet Nat, the grape used was Graševina, aka Welschriesling.
Pet Nat Hysteria
The Austrians have their own tradition, originating from Burgenland, and it is called Uhudler. It used to be forbidden because traditionally Uhudlers are made from hybrid grapes not allowed in winemaking. However, the approach is justified because these disease-resistant grapes do not require protection in form of chemicals conventionally used in vineyards. And this is the other reason why Pet Nats have become popular.
Hypsteria around Pet Nats involves the acceptance by naturalists. After all, it carries “natural” in its name. The technique is important, of course, but Pet Nat is traditionally produced from organically grown grapes. This matters because there is no filtration, regardless of the presence of lees, but also because an authentic expression is desired.
Champagnes start with a base wine, already fermented. Everything that follows is a technique meticulously perfected over the centuries. Pet Nats are roughly half the pressure of a Champagne, seemingly spontaneous and unpredictable, and therefore fresh and so alive.
Uncompromisable Pet Nats keep their bubbles as well as the lees that occur naturally with fermentation in the bottle. This sediment might be a significant part of the Pet Nat charm, but the disgorged ones are generally more suited for consumption.
Wine&more Pet Nat Easter Extravaganza Case
For the fun of it, we made a “theme case” consisting of 4 Croatian Pet Nats and 2 Austrian Pet Nats inspired by their Uhudler tradition.
This offer is very limited because the production of these Pet Nats is small. But it makes us very happy to have it.