Piquette: A Trend Worth Trying

If you’ve got your ear to the ground of the natural wine scene, you may have heard of a little thing called piquette. As the trend cycle finds itself spinning faster than ever, we’ve seen the popularity of different wines rise and fall. We’ve seen rosé have its day in the sun, pét-nat sparkle at dinner parties everywhere, and now a turn for the funkier: piquette is on the scene and it’s not leaving any time soon. Whether canned, bottled, sparkling or still people cannot get enough of this wine-based beverage. With its soar in popularity you may be asking yourself, what the heck is piquette?!

Originally produced for the farmhands of the vineyards, piquette is a delightfully light and slightly spritzy wine beverage that has a low enough ABV that you’re able to enjoy several glasses without feeling as though you have over-indulged. It is also one of the greatest ways that a vineyard can ensure they’re using the most sustainable winemaking practices. This is because piquette is simply a reuse of grapes. Think of it as the delicious byproduct of reduce, reuse, recycle. After grapes are used for traditional winemaking, the leftover product, pomace, is rehydrated and then fermented. The result of this second use is piquette, a light bodied wine beverage that is a slice of life on the lighter side, making it a perfect aperitivo. 

Piquette is versatile; it can be made in any which way. We’ve seen versions done in red, white, pink and of course orange. Just like their wine predecessor, piquette’s flavours depend on the grapes that they’re made with. Take a Riesling for example. When it is a wine it might boast flavours of pineapple, nectarine, jasmine, and honeysuckle. When the pomace is rehydrated and fermented again that same Riesling grape creates a piquette ripe with fruity funkiness that makes it more akin to a pineapple-y spritzer than the wine that came before it. Cabernet Franc is another grape that has become a popular choice to use a piquette, the herbaceousness really shining through in its new form. 

We are so excited to be the only shop in Calgary offering Averill Creek Piquettes! In both a red and a white, these wine beverages are made from the pomace of their highly favoured Joue wines. Hailing from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, Averill Creek is making some of the most interesting wines on the west coast. The Averill Creek Piquette Blanc tastes reminiscent of the love child of a saison beer and Gewurztraminer says the importer. It is composed of Gewürztraminer with some Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. We love the briny apple character that acts as a savoury backbone for the floral aromatics inherent to Gewürztraminer. The Averill Creek Piquette Rouge is made from the rehydrated skins of Marechal Foch, Foch Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir grapes from the Joue Rosé. The way the rose is made leaves lots of flavour and colour in the skins, which allows this piquette to pack a real punch. This piquette tastes as purple as it looks. It has flavours of concord grape juice, earth, and a savoury meatiness you find in farmhouse style beers. Both the red and white are $23.67 per bottle. 

Old Westminster out of Maryland uses piquette in such a fun and cool way. A natural producer, Old Westminster has found intriguing ways to craft their wines without the use of inauthentic additives. By using natural grape products like piquette or verjus, Old Westminster is able to play with variables in the end product. By blending piquette with wine, they have created fresh and juicy wines with lower alcohol content that are still dry enough to make the ideal pairing for outdoor barbeques. The Old Westminster Come Together blend tastes almost like a Beaujolais Nouveau with punchy raspberry and floral notes. The Old Westminster Take It Easy is watermelony rosé treat perfect for any day that ends in ‘Y’. Each of these unique wines are $33.19 per bottle. 

Piquette is the ultimate drink for those of us who are looking for something that can satisfy a myriad of cravings. It’s an easy way to get your fix for something effervescent and an almost guiltless way to enjoy a few glasses of (near)wine in the afternoon. Lucky for us, this trendy revival of an age old practice looks like it’ll be around for the long haul. check out all the piquettes we currently have to offer here!