Natural Wine Week 2010   •   Comments »

Natural wine week has arrived here in San Francisco, and it is definitely a brand new event as compared to last year. Last year the focus was on the intellectual - trying to define natural wine, deciding what qualified and what didn't, a symposium discussing the `rules' of natural wine. There were a limited number of people trying to get a maximum amount of exposure. This year it's all about the heart and soul. There are at least twenty places holding events of some kind. The dialogue will hopefully still drift into the intellectual realms, but the vibe is primarily about the enjoyment of good wine. Walk into a restaurant with a serious wine program or a good wine shop this week and chances are you will be offered some `natural wine'. This is a good thing. Before we get all tied up in the mental exercise of trying to define what is or is not natural, lets share the spiritual exercise of drinking natural wine. Let's get the wine out in the market. Turn people on to it. I for one don't feel the need to create or be a part of some club or cult that enjoys natural wine and holds that preference over the heads of others who are not aware of it or just don't care for it. Be transparent about how the wine was made so each person can make a decision about what styles of winemaking nurture wines that he or she likes. It is more important to most wine drinkers that the wine be delicious and inspiring than conform to any strict dogma. The beauty of the wines will win the day, not the words of the preachers or the choir.

So get out and taste some wine this week. See if you like it. If you do, explore deeper. Find out how it is made, find out how and where the grapes are grown. Ask questions! Perhaps you will discover that you really like wines with no sulfur - or wines with carbonic maceration - or perhaps you will discover that you like wines with commercial yeast and oak chips, who knows. Discovering what you like is the first step. Being open to exploring things that are not immediately pleasurable is the next step. Question why you like something or don't like another. Don't be afraid to like or dislike something - tastes change over time. Everyone is allowed to have his or her tastes evolve. The most difficult thing in a world of people with strong opinions is to have your own.

At Nopa we are pouring the wines of Vouette et Sorbée. There is a really great write up on these wines by Peter Liem on the wine blog Saignée. He does a better job than I would be able to, so I will let you explore the link for more technical info.

We are offering all three wines of the Domaine by the glass or half glass. There is a blanc de noir called Fidéle, a blanc de blanc called Blanc d'Argile and a Rosé from 100% Pinot Noir called Saignée de Sorbée. They are not inexpensive, but I can confidently say that this week Nopa will be the cheapest, and perhaps the only, place in the country to drink these wines by the glass. We are offering them at or below retail until the wine runs out or the week ends.

Posted August 25, 2010 • Filed under Wine,

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