Having consumed a lot of it, we can say with confidence that we bloody love natural wine, but we’d be lying if we said we truly understood it.
It seems like only yesterday that someone’s boyfriend started bringing Pet Nat to our Summer BBQ parties, and although we didn’t know what it was, it looked pretty and tasted delicious.
Since then, natural wine has made a huge name for itself in the Australian wine industry as the more sustainable and healthier option. It seems to be the category that gives winemakers a bit more creative license, and we get to enjoy their experimental creations.
We caught up with Dave Hynes (@dave.likeswine on Instagram), who is proudly “not a Somme” but knows a damn lot about natty wines. He is one half of sauced.shop, one of Melbourne’s best online distributor and store (yes, they do delivery) for natural wine, based out of a rustic shed in Kensington.
“Natural wine is counter-culture movement amongst winemakers (and marketers) in response to the rise of growing grapes using petrochemicals,” Dave tells Thrillist Australia.
“In the space of one generation, grape farming was radically changed by the chemical inventions of the last century. Natural winemakers’ first priority is the soil – the source of everything on a vineyard.
“For me, a beautiful natural wine is like a photo of soil in liquid form – a snapshot of the biodiversity in the vineyard and the care and attention to detail of the winemaker.”
Personally, Dave doesn’t like the term “natural”. He thinks that calling natural wine just “wine” and all other wines “chemical wine”, is much more fitting.
We asked Dave his favourite natural wines to drink right now, because lord knows we have a lot of time on our hands and room in our tums.
Piquette wine has low ABV and high drinkability. Tastes like punch, drinks like beer, made from grapes and water. So simple, so delicious. It’s made by adding water to grape pomace—the solids left over after grapes are pressed for wine—and then fermenting it. There are heaps of delicious Piquette-style wines, and we’ve made our own Sauced.Shop X Little Brunswick pink spritzy number.
Chile is fascinating to me, as it has the same latitude line as central Victoria. This drop is fresh, crisp and savoury. Lighter alcohol is nice during lockdown when you’re (obviously) drinking all day.
Adelaide Hills so important for the Australian natural wine scene. They’re producing some incredible drops. Kyatt (of Limus) really nailed the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Rose Blend that is the Limus Double Up Aperitivo.
This guy is a light to medium red with fresh cherry and peppery notes. It’s a baby for it’s part of the world, being created only about 120 years ago. This baby is not too heavy, not too light, and I’d say it’s got a fun and sexy feel, similar to that of Gamay or Aussie Pinot.
Jura wine is a French style of wine, made in aregion in eastern France, between Burgundy and Switzerland. The taste of Jura wine is very distinctive; it has similar characteristics to sherry, with nutty, peaty, yeasty and bone dry flavours. Right now it’s super popular, and making a big name for itself in the natty wine industry as region with winemakers who are committed to making wine without additions. I’ve currently got my eyes on a winemaker called Etienne, from North Wine, making the Jura style here in central Victoria.
Andy from Analog Wines is making his wine in Qvevris at his property in Harcourt, just outside Castlemaine in Victoria. It’s super cool because this is how they used to make wine in Georgia thousands of years ago. This is his second vintage and if they’re anything like his first, they’ll be punchy and delicious.
This is a once-a-year release from Alex and Rob at Little Brunswick Co. Fresh, cheap, zero adds, and supporting local farmers by using grapes they wouldn’t have otherwise sold (sometimes a Shiraz farmer has 3 rows of sauv blanc but cant sell em, you know?).
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.