Published on August 7th, 2017

Natural Wines and Where to Find Them

Wine trends are born out of seeking the opposite. Once the market is completely weighed down, saturated by specific styles, the avant garde winemakers release the counterpoint. Out of palate fatigue? Perhaps. Example: 10 years ago, a market that just couldn’t stomach another glass of oaky, buttery, Kendall-Jackson-style Chardonnay reveled in the ‘unoaked’ ‘stainless steel’ version of the grape. But was it balanced? Was it interesting? Another example: dry rose. You’ve probably realized by now that drinking pink doesn’t take you back to 1980’s white zinfandel mayhem. Or does it?

The newest iteration of opposites attracting is the natural wine movement, which is coming of age in direct contrast to the red blend boom that has swept the nation the last 5 years. Alcoholic fruit bombs that taste synthetic and commercialized-grocery store wines-were screaming for a foil. The foil is here: wines that are unfiltered, unfined, unsulfured, and frankly, unfinished in some cases.

A true wino investigates a trend and decides if it is for them. Luckily, this trend that took hold on the East and West coasts has finally made a stronghold here in the Midwest, and there are lots of options to explore this vast and varying category. Taste for yourself!

Daniel Souder at Pleasantry in OTR. Image: Cincinnati Refined

Pleasantry 118 W 15th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

The food! The wine! The people! Let Daniel or Joanna ably guide you through an incredible list of natural wine selections. Following rigorous buying protocols, Daniel lets nothing get on this list unless abides by his ‘drink easy’ ‘sip slow’ mantra.

Please 1405 Clay St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

I had a ‘wow’ moment with Chef Ryan Santos’s swordfish paired to Frank Cornellison’s Contadino, a natural wine made in Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna.

DEP’s (of course!)

Our selection continues to grow. A few of my personal favorites:


La Boutanche Blanc (Loire France) $17.99

I can’t claim this description, it came from the internet. But I love it “light, effervescent, funky, barnyard, fish factory, cold blur steel, moniker of youth, twang of southern ham, fathering tiny elephants, yam, yellow feathered tar heels.”-Jeremiah Hammerling

Broc Cellars Amore Rosso, $18.99

One of the originals to the natural wine game, and an Instagram star. A high-acid pizza wine.

Cruse St. Laurent Pet-Nat, $22.99

Similar in many ways to Pinot Noir, St.Laurent creates a high-acid fizzer with a creamy texture and lightness of being. Michael Cruse was named winemaker of the year last year, and his wines are increasingly hard to find.

Join me at Wine Over Water on the Purple People Bridge on August 26th where I will be presenting a special VIP tasting of Natural Wines. Benefitting the Brighton Center.