The Best Natural Wines To Try In 2022

If you spend any time at your local wine shop picking out new bottles to try, or you've ever frequented a trendy, well-stocked wine bar, then you've probably heard the term "natural wine." It poses the question: Isn't all wine natural? Well, kind of, and kind of not. Most conventional wines are filled with additives, like commercial yeasts, sulfites, and even compounds like Mega Purple, which adds color and flavor to some of your favorite grocery store wines (via VinePair). If that doesn't sound great to you, you're not alone, which is why the natural wine industry is burgeoning and has been for several years now.

Natural wine has no one definition, though it generally refers to wine that does not include any added ingredients (via Vox). Because of this lack of interference, some claim that natural wines more accurately reflect the terroir, or the land and climate, that particular grapes come from. Some of these wines may taste more or less like the conventional wines you're used to, but others burst forth with colors and flavors unfamiliar to most new wine drinkers.

For those who want to take their exploration of wines to the next level, natural wine is a great place to start. But which ones should you try, and what should you expect before you take a sip? Taste some of the fun finds below, and you may just discover a new favorite.

Martha Stoumen Post Flirtation Red 2020

Wondering where to start on your natural wine journey? A wine by Martha Stoumen is a great entry point. A celebrated Northern California winemaker, Stoumen studied food systems as well as viticulture and oeneology, so she has a holistic view of the wine-making process (via MV Times). She decided to pursue natural winemaking and has now built a reputation for delivering fun, easily drinkable wines to the market. If you've never had natural wine before, her Post Flirtation Red 2020 is accessible but interesting and makes for a great party wine.

On the nose, it has a juiciness to it that absolutely pops, along with a touch of clove — you're going to want to take a sip right away. It's light-bodied and has a hint of cherry to it, but it's not overwhelmingly tart. It's uncomplicated and should please even the least adventurous guests around the dinner table. It's delicious chilled and could easily be enjoyed during the hottest months of the year.

While some natural wines can be considered a bit off-putting to those who aren't used to anything too funky, this one should go down as a crowd-pleaser.

Meinklang Mulatschak Orange 2020

Orange wine has officially entered the chat. Orange wine, also known as amber wine or skin-contact wine, isn't made of oranges; rather, it gets its color from white grape skins. Most conventional white wines are made with grapes that have their skins removed before they're fermented. However, orange wines are fermented with their skins (hence the name "skin contact"). The flavor can be slightly different from what you'd expect with a conventional white wine. Often, these wines can be fuller-bodied or more tannic than most whites, which can be appealing for adventurous palates.

Austria's Meinklang is one of the largest biodynamic farms in Europe, according to Amber Revolution by Simon J. Woolf, and their Mulatschak Orange 2020 is an undeniably exciting wine. It hasn't been fined or filtered, so it has that cloudiness that many natural wine drinkers look for. This wine is juicy and straightforward, so it's perfect for new natural wine drinkers or just those who want to sip without thinking too much.

Swick Wines Piquette 3.0 2020

There are some exciting wines coming out of the United States, and they're not all from California. Swick Wines calls Oregon home, and they're making some of the coolest wines in your local natural wine shop. While many of their wines are worth trying, their Piquette 3.0 2020 is a fun addition to any party. A piquette is a low-alcohol beverage made from the pomace (or skins, seeds, and stems) of grapes that have already been processed into wine, per Wine Enthusiast. The result is an easily sippable, lower-ABV drink that's fun to cool and crush in the summertime (or really anytime).

Piquette 3.0 is lightly sparkling and almost tastes more like a berry soda than a wine. We'd bring this to an event where everyone else is drinking beer because at 7.7% ABV, it's easy to have a few glasses without feeling too tipsy. It's an unserious, enjoyable drink that, unfortunately, probably won't last long once everyone gets a taste.

Cirelli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2020

Crisp and perfect for pairing with seafood and salads, Cirelli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2020 is an Italian white you won't be able to get enough of. It's made from 100% organic Montepulciano grapes and hasn't been fined or filtered. It's also low in sulfites. You may get some notes of stone fruit and some earthiness with medium acidity. Like a lot of the wines on this list, it's not going to be difficult to have more than a single glass of this stuff. There's nothing too out of the ordinary going on here, so it shouldn't scare any of your guests off.

We also love that this wine is available at a great price point. You can find it at some retailers for around $15 to $20, which makes it an ideal option for those who don't want to spend a fortune trying something new. Light, summery, and with just the right touch of minerality, you can't go wrong with this young Italian wine.

Donkey & Goat New Glou 2021

For those who are ready for something slightly more adventurous, Donkey & Goat New Glou 2021 is waiting for you. This is a super young, super interesting wine that's a mix of syrah, vermentino, and merlot. The winery's website calls it "a zero-zero infant of a wine" because there are no sulfites or any other additives — just grapes — and those grapes were on the vine mere months before the writing of this article. This chillable red boasts a dark, milky texture that may look rich, deep, and intense when in reality, it's a fresh, no-frills wine that we consider totally chuggable.

The bold, fresh juiciness of this wine is balanced with a smokiness almost reminiscent of mezcal. But don't worry — notes of cranberry and cherry balance it out perfectly, so the smokiness isn't too overwhelming. It's certainly acidic, but not so much that you'll pucker after the first sip. This California red is unexpected and somehow just right, especially when paired with friends and a table full of food.

Milan Nestarec Bum Bum Cha 2020

Visit Milan Nestarec's website, and you know you're in for something unusual. The homepage reads, "Milan Nestarec is not a winery — I always correct people when they say that. Milan Nestarec is ideas that just happen to be represented through wine. I'm not selling wine. I'm serving a world view. Using wine as a medium. I could have chosen another one, but this one is so fun. And social." 

Take a sip of Bum Bum Cha 2020, and you'll get a taste of that fun and sociability immediately. This rosé pét-nat from Czechia will blow you away with its zing, freshness, and acidity. It tastes like the bottled embodiment of free-spiritedness — wild, bubbly, and a little all over the place, in the best possible way.

This wine was originally dreamt up during the 2019 vintage, when they decided to add some blaufränkisch to riesling. It was a risk, but it paid off. In 2020, they added some extra fun with the addition of sauvignon blanc and Zweigelt. It comes together in a symphony of a summer sipper we want at every picnic, every pool party, every BBQ we attend from here on out. Think lemonade for grown-ups.

Maison Crochet Pét Native Gamay 2020

Light! Bubbly! Dry! A pét nat gamay sounds like any natural wine lover's dream come true, and if you're looking for an easygoing, friendly wine for everyday celebrations, you can't go wrong with Maison Crochet Pét Native Gamay 2020. This lovely, fizzy number hails from France, and the grapes were grown in limestone and clay soils. Organic, handpicked, and unfiltered, this natural wine is enough to make any gamay lover into a pét nat person through and through.

We love this wine as a crowd-pleaser that's going to leave everyone happy. It's an exciting alternative to a classic sparkling wine for a celebratory occasion, but it's simple and uncomplicated enough to be enjoyed on an everyday basis. With notes of green apple, cherry, and a citrus zing with just the right amount of acidity, there's a good chance that everyone in your friend group is going to ask for another glass.

Lectores Pomagrana 2019

You asked for a Spanish red, and that's just what you're going to get with Lectores Pomagrana 2019, but don't expect anything typical here. This Barbera-grown red is made with trepat grapes, and it's got a lightness and brightness to it you'll notice right away. Of course, you may encounter notes of pomegranate in this wine, but what really stood out to us was an intense dose of grapefruit on the nose. This wine is super dry but still super fruity and thirst-quenching — perfect for red wine lovers who want something on the lighter, flirtier side.

Don't expect anything too wild or complex here. It's well-balanced, and it's a great option for those just looking to dip their toes into the world of natural wine. Give it a slight chill before dinner, and serve it while you're eating, and you'll find that it's unlikely to last long. Luckily, because it has a relatively low ABV, you can sip on it all night long without having to worry about a nasty hangover in the morning.

Subject to Change Lune Juice 2020

For those who love the tartest of the tart when it comes to their wines, Subject to Change Lune Juice 2020 is calling your name. This massively popular carbonic red hails from California, where it shares the spotlight with other popular Subject to Change wines like Wild Child and FKA. (If you're on the wine side of the internet, there's a good chance you've seen them on social media). While we love all of this winery's selections, there's something about Lune Juice that always has us coming back for more.

First of all, the moniker "juice" is wholly accurate. This wine is as juicy as they come, but without all of the sweetness you might expect. Notes of blackberry, raspberry, and plum come to the forefront for an unexpected burst of flavor. It's made from 100% zinfandel grapes, but be warned: This is not your grandma's zinfandel (and she may resent you if you try to serve it to her). This wine is fun for a casual night with friends. Get two bottles if you're sharing — it's too easy to crush a single one in a night.

Iapetus Tectonic 2019

In the U.S., it may seem like the West Coast is the place to be for natural wines. But there's one project in Vermont we have our eye on: Iapetus from Shelburne Vineyards. Ethan Joseph and fellow winegrowers offer some super-interesting pét nats, a gluggable piquette, and a 100% riesling number that will impress even those who have sworn off riesling for good. But our favorite has to be the Tectonic, a gorgeous orange with just a touch of sediment. It's mostly made with La Crescent grapes but is also mixed with a riesling and arctic riesling piquette.

Like a lot of Iapetus creations, upon first sip, you may be left shaking your head, wondering what's going on in your glass. But give it a few more sips, and this wine will come to life. It's acidic and tannic and almost tastes like a red wine in a way — an extended period of maceration is to thank for that. If you like orange wines, this is really something special you should get your hands on. If you can't find it, other Iapetus wines are worth a try.

Kobal Bajta Rosé Haloze Pét Nat 2020

Pink, sparkling, and an overall pleasure, Kobal Bajta Rosé Haloze Pét Nat 2020 has to be one of our absolute favorites for this year. This wine hails from Slovenia, a country that's producing some gorgeous natural wines. It has a yeastiness to it, which, if you're not used to natural wine, may sound unpleasant. It's not. This yeasty quality gives the wine a sense of nourishment — a glass of this stuff feels like a lunch even on its own (though it also pairs well with plenty of foods — we particularly like super-salty snacks with this beachy sipper).

The strawberry notes in this one are strong, but don't worry about too much sweetness. It's well-balanced for ultimate chuggability. This definitely isn't one to try if you tend to prefer bolder, earthier wines, but sour beer lovers are going to lap it up. And of course, since it's a pét nat, it has that light fizziness to it that takes it to a whole new level. This winery has another, drier pét nat if that's more of your thing.

Jus Jus Day 2021

Salad for President creator Julia Sherman and natural winemaker Martha Stoumen (already featured on our list for her Post Flirtation Red) have joined forces to create a sparkling verjus (a sort of sour grape juice) that's ideal for low-key day drinking. Jus Jus Day 2021 comes in at 3.5% ABV, which means it only has a quarter of the alcohol you're used to from sparkling wines. And sparkling it is: It's made in the style of a pét nat, so you'll get all the bubbles your heart desires with this drink. It's made with a combo of chardonnay and muscat blanc grapes for the perfect amount of acidity. This wine is ultra-drinkable, but considering the low alcohol content, you can pour yourself a few glasses without feeling the effects.

And if you like Jus Jus Day, Jus Jus Night 2021 is a great option too. It's slightly drier and has a higher alcohol content — you're looking at about 7% ABV. That's about half the alcohol you'd find in most other sparkling wines. It too is nice and tart. Neither of these wines has any added sulfites or preservatives, so natural wine lovers can rejoice in the joy of these bubbles.

Margins Skin-Fermented Chenin Blanc 2020

A dry white California wine to pair with just about anything you're making for dinner (but especially seafood), Margins Skin-Fermented Chenin Blanc 2020 may just be the perfect way to end a day. It has distinct notes of citrus, particularly grapefruit, and lovely tannins that keep things interesting. One Vivino reviewer said, "[It's] like a sour beer in white wine form. Punchy, fruit forward but not too sweet." We couldn't agree more.

"This is my most-loved fermentation every year because I spend more time tending to it than any other wine," says winemaker Megan Bell. And it doesn't sound easy. "Extended skin maceration with white wine can be tricky," she explains, "but with much effort this is one of my favorite things that I create." It's aged on its skins for 25 days and then further aged in neutral oak. With no fining or filtration and minimal sulfites, it's a white that every natural wine lover should have on their list of must-try wines for 2022. We know we do!