Kombucha-like sour, savoury, funky, gritty, imperfect, intense – all words that are usually not traditionally used to describe red or white wine.
The unconventional taste and color are exactly what has made the natural wine movement so popular.
In 2016, the SAQ claimed that organic wine sales went up by 30% with their members. Looks like Quebecers are loving natural wine too!
Natural wine is often characterized by it's murky, cloudy, and gritty appearance. In other words, it looks nothing like wine. At first glance, it looks more like sparkling juice.
This is because natural wine is made with little to no chemical mechanical intervention, resulting in a novel flavour and texture bursting with intensity and complexity that is so unfamiliar to the traditional wine-lover's palette.
Have you ever eaten a tomato straight out of the soil? It tastes like a little piece of heaven. Plump, earthy, and a little dirty. It's how a tomato is supposed to taste.
On the flip side, ever eaten a regular grocery store tomato in the middle of winter in Canada? It tastes – well, like nothing really, just like grainy water.
That's the difference between natural wine and traditional wine. Natural wine tastes truer to the way in which wine is intended to taste; just like the tomato that came straight out of the ground.
That's because when manufacturing wine at a large scale consistency is the goal. Traditional or "big wines" therefore wind up narrow in taste and simple in flavor.
Natural wine isn't just a trendy new drink, it embodies a deeper cultural shift and consumer movement away from large-scale manufacturing.
More than ever, consumers are conscious about what they put in their bodies. And the increase in popularity of natural wine is evidence of that.
But like any counter-movement, it always starts small with a few risk-takers and trail-blazers.
Montreal is home to several wonderful restaurants that proudly serve natural wine: Vin Papillion, Pullman, and Lawrence - just to name a few.
According to mtl.com Montreal is actually one of the best cities in the world to enjoy natural wine.
If you're a true wine-lover than this is probably old news. However, for all those who are stuck in a wine rut, this just might be the change you need.