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İyi ki doğdun! Turkish Meze, Ekşili Balık, and Donkey & Goat's 2021 Sparkling Grüner & Chard Pét-Nat #WinePW

Today the Wine Pairing Weekend writers are talking about Slow Wine. Gwendolyn of Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley is hosting; you can read her invitation. Last month, the Italian Food Wine Travel group looked at Italian Slow Wine. This month, we turn our eyes towards Slow Wine in the United States. 

And, as a fantastic bonus, Gwendolyn arranged a Zoom meeting for us with the senior editor of the guide, Pam Strayer. It was nice to see familiar names in the editorial masthead, including Nicole Ruiz Hudson of Somm's Table, I've known Nicole for years through our wine blogging groups, but I finally met her face to face in 2019 at a Prosecco Superiore lunch in San Francisco. And the presenter from that event is also one of the Slow Wine Guide editors - Iris Rowlee. The wine circles collide! But we are talking about Slow Wine...

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join our live chat on Twitter on Saturday, May 14th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #WinePW and be sure to add it to anything that you tweet so we can see it. Also, I received a complimentary virtual copy of the Slow Wine Guide. If you are interested in purchasing the guide for yourself, it's available on

Here's the line-up of articles from the #WinePW group on Slow Wine...

Slow Wine

During our Zoom with Strayer, we learned about the Slow Wine Manifesto, how it translates into practice, and what the guide really means. Interestingly enough the manifesto is more aspirational than hard and fast criteria. You don't have to achieve all of them to be included in the book. The issue, Strayer said, "isn't to be in or out of the movement, it's about moving people in that direction."

There are nearly three hundred wines included in the guide. Most are from the west coast with the lion's share of those from California. Strayer shared a bit about their eco-curation process: to only include people who are on the path. One requirement is that they cannot use any herbicides on their estate. And, the goal is transparency - to help people answer 'What's in my wine?'

Donkey & Goat

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you will likely have read about my sheer and utter adoration for the Brandts and their wines! You can read the post I shared in September 2020 for #WinePW - Donkey & Goat: The Brandts Bring Natural Farming Philosophies Into the Cellar.

So, whenever we make it to Berkeley, we stop by the Donkey & Goat tasting room. The bocce court hasn't reopened yet, since it closed during the pandemic, but we enjoyed a sunny afternoon, tasting wines, snacking, and discussing the pros and cons of Cal vs. Cal Poly a few weeks ago. Our younger son was still undecided and we had just spent the day on campus. He has since committed to studying Environmental Engineering at Berkeley. My little Cal gal heart swelled with Bear spirit and mamma pride when he click 'Yes'. Go, Bears! Maybe one of these trips I'll actually get to meet Jared in person. I'll certainly be up there more often now.

Donkey & Goat's 2021 
Sparkling Grüner & Chard Pét-Nat

One of the wines highlighted in the guide is the 2019 Donkey & Goat Lily's Pét-Nat. I have a bottle of the 2021 Lily's shipping with my Summer club release. And I have paired that wine before in my post Unexpected Pairings for a Pét-Nat Duo from Donkey & Goat: Coconut Beef Curry and Holiday Cookies. That post delves into and answers 'What is a Pét-Nat?'

But, in my Spring club release, I received a bottle of the 2021 Sparkling Grüner & Chardonnay Pét-Nat. That is the bottle I'm featuring today.' So, it's not listed in the Slow Wine guide, but it is made by one of the producers who has three others in there.

According to their website, the Brandts make two sparkling wines per vintage. They rotate, explore, and ensure that they "do not make too many Pét-Nat wines." From a consumer perspective, I say 'Nonsense! There is no such thing as too many Pét-Nats. But, from the winemaker side, I understand the challenge of bottling while harvesting.

The grapes for this wine are Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay and come from the Rava Jack Black and Conzleman vineyards. Chardonnay grapes from the Conzleman Vineyard are what go into their Lily's. Harvested and pressed on the same day - September 16, 2021 - the juice was bottled four days later and disgorged in February 2022.

The wine pours a pale straw color with fleck of green on the rim with tiny perlage that dissipate quickly. On the nose, there are citrus notes - think heady lemon blossoms - with layers of white pepper and ginger. But, on the palate, the wine is more complex with waxy honeycomb, bitter almond, and grapefruit rind. It's no mystery why I order bottles and bottles of Pét-Nat when I can. But it's not cheap, retailing at $40 for this one and $45 for the Lily's, so it's a special occasion wine. 

Turkish Meze

The occasion we were celebrating when I opened this bottle: my birthday! I wanted to do an array of Turkish meze and try a lemony fish stew. Done.

Meze are to Turkey as tapas are to Spain. Small dishes, shared plates, and a variety of savories made with vegetables, nuts, dips, and more. I made dips of roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant, and  carrots. I roasted peppers and artichokes. And I made salads with beets and cucumbers. I would normally consider that dinner, but since it was a celebration, I planned a main dish.

Ekşili Balık

For our second course I made my version of Ekşili Balık – A Lemony Turkish Fish Stew Recipe

That's a wrap! Well, my Summer Donkey & Goat shipment arrived yesterday. So, I'll report back on more deliciousness and pairings soon. Next month Terri of Our Good Life will be hosting as we share about a picnic theme. Stay tuned for that.


  1. I enjoyed the Donkey and Goat wine that I bought and am so happy you introduced me to them.


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