If you’re looking to ease into this hot fall season look no further than the crisp, fizzy wine treat – piquette. Some people turn to an ale when the leaves change, but if you’re wanting something different that’s somewhere between a sour beer and wine spritzer then crack open a piquette and enjoy. It’s the prickly low ABV sweeping trend that keeps the party going in a very chill way. Move aside cider it’s time for piquette to make a splash at the next Halloween movie marathon!
Piquettes and how are they made?
Piquettes are a low ABV (falling between 4%-9%), slightly fizzy, easy drinking wine. It is the reuse of a wine byproduct that would typically be thrown out, but instead is made into a gem of a libation. Piquettes are made from the second pressings of grape pomace. For those who don’t happen to know what a pomace is (no worries) pomace is a dense clump of grape skins, seeds, stems, and pulp that remains after juice has been pressed. Let sugar ferment with the leftovers for that famous fizz, add water to the pomace, and voilà it’s piquette time!
Sounds pretty simple, but creating that mirthmaking beverage can have some challenges. When alcohol levels drops it causes an increase in PH levels which contributes to the lactic acids that adds to the piquette flavor, but also can contribute to different bacterial infections. That’s a big no thank you. Too much Brettanomyces or Acetobacter can spoil the whole thing. Get out of here Brettanomyces and Acetobacter!
Winemakers work to combat the possibility of a bacterial infection by adding more wine to the pomace/water brew for the perfect piquette balance. Winemakers say keep it as simple as possible and you’ll have that effortless, smooth, drink ready to go in no time.
Brief History of Piquette
Piquettes date back to the groovy Greek/Roman times when it was called Lora which, means prick or prickle. It was named Lora for the slight fizz on the tongue. Yummmm, we love a fizz. In Italy, it’s called acqua pazza, acquarello, and vinello and is encouraged as a gorgeous post work drink. This little treat has history!
Piquettes are known to be “the people’s drink” made all over the world and made popular by field workers and their families. After a hard day on the vineyard working to maintain land and crops, farmhands and vineyard workers would gather round during lunch or after work to enjoy piquette. Thanks to those workers and their families past and present, piquettes are on the map and are ready to be savored by all.
It’s the inclusive, bringing people together far and wide, beverage that we all could use. Not to mention resourceful taking a product that would have been thrown out and turning it into a drink that can be enjoyed by all.
Let's Taste Piquette!
As previously mentioned, Piquettes are known as a prickly, revitalizing, light beverage that’s crushable. It verges into the sour beer territory for tasting with its bright acidity and fruit froward notes. But it’s not beer folks, it’s wine! According to Cavello in a Wine Enthusiast interview piquettes “blow out the taste of wine” meaning whatever varietal used the piquette will be a heightened version with a slight fizz.
For example if the piquette is made with a Cabernet Franc varietal then it could have be very herbaceous and dry. If the piquette was made with a Cabernet Sauvigon varietal it could taste like a delicious vanilla coke. Or if it was made with a Riseling varietal it could taste like a honey pear pop ready to rock your senses. Piquettes take your favorite tasting notes and put them on the next level then cuts it with a fizz that leaves you fully satisfied.
Piquettes are like if La Croix was like, where’s the wine? It’s the perfect beverage for when you want to maintain the festivities without over doing it. Speaking from experience, a piquette is perfect for the moment in the celebration where you just want to knock off and chill (ideally on an inflatable pizza floating in a pool) with something cold and refreshing. With fall time here piquettes would be ideal for an outside pumpkin carving or a crisp, fall night in the hot tub where you can take a sip of piquette and feel invigorated.
It can be kegged or come in adorable bottles/cans that just add to the moment of it all. Even from its origins piquette encourages one to enjoy their breaks and slow down which everyone should do especially now. The best part is that piquettes are mad affordable on top of everything else really adding to the “people’s drink” vibe. If piquettes could speak they would say, “Relax pal, it’s all good.” Crack one open and you’ll see just what everyone is buzzing about!
Overall, piquettes are a refreshing, crushable, wine treat that are perfect for someone looking for the easiness of a wine spritzer and the play of a sour beer. It’s resourceful AF taking the byproducts of wine that would have been thrown out and instead used to make a delicious drink. Plus was originally made to be enjoyed by all and is very affordable! It’s everything we all could use now and beyond.
Next time you’re cuddling up to watch a fall time classic like Hocus Pocus grab a bowl of popcorn and crack open a piquette to relax and cozy goodness. Piquettes are the prickly friend we’ve been waiting for!