We loved the fun labels, the small inconsistencies from bottle to bottle, the wine was without the stuffiness so rife in that industry. This wine was alive, young and fresh, much like ourselves. It wasn't corrupted by wine wankers scoring it 90 points or fixating on grape variety, region or price. It felt like a new age of wine, where class, knowledge and pretentiousness didn't play a part. Wine for punks!
Admittedly "Natural" is not the best term to describe this wine, as it's so vague and a little confusing. But let me explain a little, the term natural is referring to the process in which the wine is produced, and bloody hell there is a spectrum. A wine that is produced from organic or biodynamic grapes could be described as natural, to the other extreme, where some young farmer has produced a load of grapes without any herbicides/ pesticides/ insecticides (doesn't have organic certification), picked them by hand, shoved them and pressed them into a large clay pot and left to ferment for a few weeks without added yeast, sugar, or sulphur. The grape juice is strained into bottles and has had no chemical intervention whatsoever. This bottle has no appellation controlee (AOC), there's no grape variety as it's just a field blend of red and white grapes. They then get a local graffiti artist to design an interesting label and the 200 bottles produced are sold to various wine bars in Paris and London, where the intelligentsias are hanging out. You can see how this type of wine has also been referred to as "Hipster Wine" or perhaps could be perceived as more pretentious than wealthy people knocking back Burgundy, and filling their cellars with the latest Chateau Mutton. But it’s a change in direction, a movement, a wine revolution.
There are perhaps lots of negative associations with Natural wine. It can sometimes smell farmy, taste like cider, be cloudy, inconsistent, it has to be drunk young and sometimes doesn't age too well. Perhaps undoing all the hard work over the last 100 years, where the industrial wine making process has been reducing costs, refining techniques, creating consistency, striving towards quality and perfecting the most immaculate drink on earth. Where the movement towards low intervention has gone against the grain.
Natural wine is anarchy, an up yours to the stuffy wine establishment. It’s a reaction to distance itself from the chino wearing shit munchers who’ve dominated the wine world for decades. This is wine for people who don’t give a toss about getting 25% off at Sainsbury’s. It’s grape juice made with ancient techniques for a modernist world. So pop a cork, write a letter to an old friend and forget about your phone for a few hours.