The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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Page 106 of 108

Proprietors, The Natural Wine Company, Brooklyn, NY PHOTO: SABRINA ASCH Taking Inventory with. . . Mike Andrews and Rebecca Pridmore THE "5" LIST Mike and Rebecca's Top Five Faves 1 The excitement about orange wines. 2 The growing trend in California towards naturally made wines by wineries like Donkey & Goat, Martian, and La Clarine Farms. 3 Cru Beaujolais. 4 The rediscovery of Georgian wines (the country, not the state). 5 Artisanal ciders made right here in New York State.   Mike and Rebecca's Top Pet Peeves Mike Andrews and Rebecca Pridmore, proprietors of The Natural Wine Company, with daughter Ada. M ike Andrews and Rebecca Pridmore, the proprietors of The Natural Wine Company in Brooklyn, New York, have been collecting wine and visiting wineries in the U.S. and Europe for over 20 years. And their passion for wine is mirrored by their passion to cook. "The desire to know where our food came from became even more important when Rebecca was pregnant with our daughter, Ada," says Andrews, "and though Rebecca wasn't drinking at the time, we started to talk a lot about how wine, too, is agriculture, and that the care with which it is made matters. We realized that there was surprisingly little information available about that." As of today there isn't a codified rule-set that defines "natural wine" and as Andrews explains, "Setting a rigid definition is tricky, fraught with politics, and we choose not to engage in it." In 2011 after jumping through all the TTB hoops, The Natural Wine Company opened its doors with the goal to "find unique wines that represent a distinct place in a specific year, that are made without chemical additives, preservatives or coloring agents," says Andrews.  Their efforts have been embraced by Brooklynites, who on average spend $15–$20 per bottle, and with many options in that range the Andrews are seeing real trends toward discovery. "Our customers get excited about drinking distinctive wines made from grapes like Groleau, Cococciola, Piederosso, Pinot d'Anuis and Altesse. We expect 2014 to continue the tremendous growth we've experienced since we opened three years ago," says Andrews. Learn more about The Natural Wine Co. at 1 The misunderstanding between "organic wines" and wines made from organically grown grapes. The handful of certified organic wines available in the U.S. are often made in huge quantities by large corporations, and don't resemble the wines we love and sell. 2 Still wines packaged in double- walled wine bottles. Double-walled bottles are great for sparkling wine (for which they were designed) but are often used by producers who think they make their wine seem more "important. They are " completely unnecessary, make the wines more expensive to ship, and they are bad for the environment. 3 The prevalence of real cork in inexpensive wines that are meant to be consumed immediately after purchase. Why use something that could ruin your wine for no benefit? 4 The 100 point ranking system which values big, overwrought wines over balance and subtlety. 5 Being asked to define natural wine. 106  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_66-108.indd 106 12/19/13 9:48 PM

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