Natural wines have a certain appeal. They're made with minimal intervention from grapes grown in sustainable, often organic, ways. Yet, if you are new to what some call "raw" wine, it can be difficult to know which bottles to choose.
There are many great natural wines available. To help you get started, here are a few exceptional red, white, and sparkling wines, offering a glimpse into the impressive natural wines you can find.
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L'aimé Chai is a red grape blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec from Domaine Mouthes Le Bihan. It's a good example of the Côtes de Duras from the southwestern part of France. The wine is wonderfully dry, holds elegant tannins, and full of dark fruit flavors, but isn't overbearing and remains approachable for any wine lover. At around $20, it's also surprisingly affordable and can be a wonderful everyday wine.
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If you're a fan of Merlot, the natural wine scene is limited in options. It's not the most popular red grape in this style of winemaking, though it can be found. California winery Broadside offers a rather unique take on the famous red and it's lighter than you might expect. It's almost juicy, which makes it a great pick for any meal, even the most robust and hearty. Since it's not hard to find a bottle for under $20, it can easily become a staple in any home.
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Based in the Rioja region of Spain, MacRobert & Canals is a winery every natural wine enthusiast needs to know. No matter the vintage or grape, they're producing very impressive wines. Grenache grapes are a specialty of the region and it's a great bottle to begin with. Laventura Garnacha holds the signature berry qualities found in this grape, which is perfect for pairing with lamb or duck—when you need a red wine gift for a dinner party, this $30 bottle is sure to please.
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A winery in Berkeley, California, Donkey and Goat offers some amazing natural varieties. The 2017 Ramato Pinot Gris is a very wild wine from grapes grown at a biodynamic farm in Anderson Valley. Ramato means the fruit skins are left in contact with the wine during fermentation, producing a deep white wine that will surely tantalize. At just shy of $30, this bottle makes a very nice hostess gift.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Sicily has long held onto the tradition of making natural wines and from south of Noto comes this lovely white. Tenuta La Favola Bianco is a blend of the area's famous Grillo grapes and Moscato. At under $20, this bottle can easily make a regular appearance on your dinner table. It boasts elegant fruit notes from citrus to peach and is rather soft, though it holds its own nicely. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with light fare such as pasta, salad, and fish.
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Day Wines offers a few inspiring natural wines that call Oregon home. After its release, the white wine blend labeled as Queen D quickly became a hit with the natural wine crowd. The grapes are grown in Applegate Valley and include Marsanne, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. It's richer and more textural than you'd expect from a white and has slight funkiness offset with buttery fruit notes. A very drinkable wine for a party, it sells for around $30.
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In the natural wine market, the vintner's personality often comes through more than it does in standard wines. 2Naturkinder is a perfect example and the German winery's Drei Freunde is a fantastic find. An orange wine, the Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner grape skins are left in contact for a week of fermentation, giving the wine a minerally, dry, apple taste. As raw as they come, take care to store it properly—at around $30 a bottle, it would be a shame to see a bottle go bad.
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Natural wines from Australia seem to be wilder than most, including this one from Deliquente, a winery's whose tagline is "Drink Like a Delinquent!" If you're seeking a wine with tons of personality, their Vermentino (nicknamed Screaming Betty) is the bottle for you. Described as sassy, it offers crisp floral and citrus flavors that anyone can fall for. It's priced around $20 and would be excellent paired with seafood.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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In the U.S., this bottle is labeled Frizzante Rosé and in other markets, you'll find it as Prosa. Whatever you call it, you're going to love the sparkling wine from Meinklang. The Austrian farm boasts sustainable growing practices that are apparent in the crisp, clean taste of this particular rosé from Pinot Noir grapes that are aged in concrete eggs. The wine is mildly effervescent with soft fruit touched by a lovely acidity. At under $20, it's perfect for any celebration.
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Champagne makes an appearance in natural wines as well. One of the premiere producers is Franck Pascal, which specializes in nothing but organic bubbly. The Reliance bottling is one of their Brut Nature offerings and it's a perfect example of the quality you can expect from the domain. It's dry and inviting, holding a ripe yellow fruit and wonderful mineral taste. This one is ideal for those special occasions as it typically sells for just over $50.