After lunch at Pierre Jancou‘s deliciously alive Vivant, I couldn’t help but want to listen to “Help I’m Alive” by Metric. His restaurant is all about that: eating, drinking, smelling and feeling life. Not the industrial one that is being ruthlessly bred indoors or meticulously created in labs, but rather, that very precarious and sometimes imperfect life that is served up each day to every one of us.
To cut a delicious lunch short, we ate great products, expertly prepared by Massimo Ruggiero and drank delicious albeit sometimes funky and hard to pinpoint totally alive wines served by sweetheart David Benichou who mans the floor with calm and expertise.
However, contrary to some popular belief, Jancou‘s selection is by no means rigid: proof is, he serves Champagne! And unless I’m mistaken, the liqueur de tirage does involve adding industrial yeasts and sugar for the bubble effect (2 no-nos in the natural wine world). He does however boast a very researched and natural wine list that I consider as the top natural reference in Paris.
It’s true, EVERYONE is talking about natural wine this, no sulfites that, organically grown there, minimal interventionism here.
This en vogue topic is so hot and controversial and sparking constant debate. But the reality is this: natural wines are not so young anymore. They are growing up and are building families and are getting serious about being recognized.
Luckily, they have a seriously passionate and pretty damn fun group of aficionados, importers, restaurateurs and enthusiastic people who are making a big difference in daily wine consumption in restaurants, wine shops, bars and dining rooms around the world.
As a matter of fact, my constant and humble quest to better understand natural wine, will be leading me to Verona this weekend to meet a lot of these (mostly Italian) winemakers and taste what’s been cooking under their hoods this year.
The overwhelming feat of finding a hotel room in the vicinity of the city surpassed, I can now concentrate on two very exciting tastings that have the natural wine community buzzing: the gorgeous Villa Favorita Vinnatur tasting and Cerea ViniVeri Areaexp “The Factory” gathering that will both take place less than 50km from Verona.
Details on my trip to follow!