Banyuls Pet-Nat with Treats à La Buvette #Winophiles

Map showing Languedoc and Roussillon, courtesy of

French Winophiles Detectives Search for Roussillon
Our French Winophiles group had a fun assignment this month: Search out a white wine from Roussillon.  We’re well familiar with the larger Languedoc-Roussillon region and it seemed easy at first. We found out that white wines from Roussillon are not so easy to find in the US! However, we are not quitters, and our group was successful in tracking down some wines. Take a look further down in this post to see all our great finds.

I’ll let my Winophiles buddies cover the appellation controlled (AOC, PDO) and geographic indicated (IGP, IGT) wines in their posts. Lately, I’ve been studying natural wines and I’ve found that the less famous wine regions are great places for upstarts and rebels to experiment.

La Cave des Nomades
José Carvalho Moreira (originally from Porto) a.k.a. Zé Tafé is an artist and musician by training. A friend of his worked harvest in Roussillon in 2010 and invited Zé to come and play with some other musicians in the area. Long story short, Zé was bitten by the winemaking bug and bought some land in Banyuls-sur-Mer. His first harvest was in 2014. With all today’s talk of terroir, Zé brings an artist’s approach and his wanderlust. He intends his wines to be constantly changing (Nomadic) to express his imagination of other places, real and imaginary. While this doesn’t involve actively steering the wine, he does experiment with different pick time, blends and vessels.  Today, Louis / Dressner imports his wines, so you may be able to find a bottle with a little searching!

Cave des Nomades “Pet-Zeppelin” Pet-Nat

Cave des Nomades “Pet Zeppelin” Pet-Nat Vin de France ($38 locally or online here) 11-14% abv
This wine begins initial fermentation in stainless then finishes under crown cap in the bottle. The grapes are 80% Macabeu and 20% Grenache Gris.
Eye: The wine is hazy, pale gold. Upon opening, it is gently frizzante.
Nose: The nose is clean with medium intensity aromas of fresh green apple, pear, lemon, lime, and quince. There is a bit of oregano and wet stone quality.
Mouth: On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ acidity and is quite tart. The alcohol is medium, body is medium, flavor intensity is medium with mostly primary flavors similar to the aromas. The texture is creamy. The wine has a nice medium+ finish.
Observation: This is a fun, very drinkable frizzante wine. Though it is a natural wine, it would not put-off a “normal” wine drinker. It has a unique set of fruit flavors with a nice creamy texture and refreshing tart acidity. I wouldn’t plan to age this wine, enjoy it when you buy it.

La Buvette – Cave à Manger
French vocabulary for the day: Cave à Manger – a place to hang out, get a glass of wine and a bite to eat. We have fond memories of an afternoon spent with Camille Fourmont, the owner at La Buvette, a cave à manger in the 11ème arrondissement in Paris. The new La Buvette book isn’t strictly a cookbook, with memoirs, thoughts on wine and recipes too. A perfect memory for us and perhaps a preview for you.

Our La Buvette Inspired Dinner
In our imaginary visit to La Buvette, we made a couple recipes from the new book. We enjoyed a salad of heirloom tomatoes, berries and oregano in a mustard dressing along with a nice bowl of Little Neck clams and sage butter. A perfect combination out on the deck and the Pet Zeppelin was delicious with both the salad and the clams

French Winophiles Investigate the White Wines of Roussillon
You’ll likely find much more “normal” wines here! Take a look at our posts, and join our conversation on Saturday morning! We’re live on Twitter at #winophiles on Saturday July17 10-11am CDT. Let us know you’re there!

25 Responses to “Banyuls Pet-Nat with Treats à La Buvette #Winophiles”
  1. culinarycam says:

    That looks like a beautiful pairing and amazing wine. I’ll have to see if they ship to California!

  2. advinetures says:

    We’ve had very limited experience with Pet-Nat, our first one was in El Dorado, CA of all places! But we’re starting to see them a lot more on our travels and are certainly game to try more especially out of Roussillon!

  3. I enjoy exploring natural (but approachable) wines, and this one sounds up my alley. Pairing looks delish!

  4. Felt like I was travelling with you Jeff! This book sounds delightful. Cheers!

  5. robincgc says:

    Where do I begin? I have been falling for Pet-Nats from everywhere (I just had one from Austria made from Zweigelt the other day!) I have also been exploring (while not quite studying) natural wines and I hope that you will write and share the things you are finding in your research.
    Your pairing looks amazing. I don’t think I have ever thought about using fresh oregano in a salad! The pairing with the tomatoes and blackberries has my brain spinning a little and wanting to try this.
    Lastly, I love your video. What a great explaination and beautiful filming.

    • Thanks Robin. I just sent my paper in, but I don’t think I’ll be writing on the subject until after grading is done. Fascinating topic though! The tomato salad was fun and so unusual both with the fresh oregano and fruit with tomatoes. Who knew?

  6. Payal Vora says:

    The Pet Nat and clams pairing sounds perfect for summer! I’m always looking for off-the-beaten-path wines so I’ll try to find this one.

  7. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    I would love to try a bottle of that wine! Sounds so fun and interesting. And your “imaginary trip” to La Buvette looks like it was delightful with so many beautiful things to eat.

  8. The Corkscrew Concierge says:

    I love that you chose a Pet-Nat. We’ve been enjoying them so much this summer. And what a great pairing.

  9. I love that Roussillon remains a place where dreams are still possible: in this case, an artist with a winemaking flair can set up shop and make cool wines!

  10. crynning says:

    You have the best cookbooks!! I love this dinner, Jeff – well done – so inspiring. Thanks!

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