Good Taste Ruins Everything
Ever since I was introduced to natural wine my ability to drink industrial fermented grape juice has been lost. There was a time when, if a bar or restaurent had a poor beer selection, I could order a glass of house red, giggle at my mouth turning purple and accept that I would wake up with a racking headache.
Natural wine is the craft beer of wine world with passionate producers creating artful bottles that range in flavor from bold and full bodied to delicate and bubbly. Most are made without sulfur (the cause of the headache), yet not all natural wines are made the same. The term natural is like the term craft : it's more of a mentality than a regulation.
Like any other shift in understanding, it's impossible to go back. The minute that I smell an industrial wine I make a squishy face. I'd rather save my money (and my stomach) for a bottle of something I'm going to enjoy every drop of!
Now when I go to dive bars... my only options left are whiskey. Monkey Shoulder anyone?
Four types of wine
Industrial - all that consistant stuff.
Organic - made with organic grapes but not necessarily artfully made or without chemicals.
Natural - made with the mentality of passion, art and soul. Not always sulfur free and prone to variations in each bottle
Biodynamic - this is what vegan is to vegetarian and is often part of natural wine. These producers use age old traditions, minimal technical intervention and strike to have balance within their farms, vineyards and bottles that come from their attention to the system as a whole.
Where to find good wine in Paris?
The Fête des Vendanges is coming up this week in Paris!
For everything you've ever wanted to know about the French Beaujolais wine region, where to find the best natural wine shops and restaurents in Paris or a glimpse at the world through a wine geek's eye check out my friend Aaron's website Not Drinking Poison In Paris.
Wine tours in Paris should only be booked through this website! And it's the most comprehensive list of approved wine locations in the city.
My favorite place to get the perfect bottle of wine is Pratz. You'll often find me and other Parisites there upgrading our wine knowledge from the shop team or dining on grande planches of meat, cheese, giant capers and tarama.
How to be part of Le Vendange?
Here are a couple places where you can look into being part of next year's harvest. Remember that although a rewarding adventure, it's difficult manual labor and the wine makers have you there to work no matter how much wine you drank the night before. Being able to speak French is a plus but if you're really interested then don't let anything get in your way.
A huge thank you to P'Tit Max for giving me the opportunity to annoy everyone with my camera and to suck up bottles of liquid that have been on earth longer than I have. If you come across any of his wine then don't hesitate to get a 2016/2017 because it likely contains grapes that I were hand picked by me!
Have you ever been part of a wine harvest? Leave me a comment below if you're SUPER interested in making or have experience in the industry. I always love to hear you.