According to Nora Hoefer, in-house wine concierge at
Empathy Wines and certified sommelier, the natural wine movement has been popular in the New York City restaurant scene and sommelier community for some time. Now, however, it's hitting the mainstream. "Slowly but surely the interest in natural wine extended beyond the sommelier community and the words 'organic,' 'biodynamic,' and 'natural' were more frequently used by guests at the restaurants I was working at," she tells Refinery29.
With so many different terms used to describe a complex category of wine that has only recently gained popularity among those who don't consider themselves wine experts, purchasing natural wine can feel a bit intimidating. That's exactly why we asked actual wine experts for their help.
Ahead, you'll find 14 different natural wines that come highly recommended by five sommeliers, wine educators, and beverage directors. Each one was made with minimal artificial influence and is perfect for those looking to delve deeper into the natural wine trend and expand their palates but don't quite know where to start. The wines listed ahead are also all under $30, which is a good price point since natural wines tend to be more expensive than than their non-natural counterparts.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Tikal Malbec/Syrah Blend, Mendoza, Argentina 2015
"It's a smooth wine with ripe berry tones. I love this wine because it makes you realize that having a wine made naturally can still result in the flavors you love, and even amplify them in a clean yet fruity style of red."
— Amy Racine, advanced sommelier at The Times Square EDITION in New York, NY Tikal
Malbec Natural 2015, $16.98
Buy Eschenhof Holzer, Wagram Muller-Thurgau Invaders Natural, 2017
"This is a classic Austrian grape that is sometimes blended with Gruner Veltliner but in this case, is showcased on its own. The producer does leave the skins with the juice for about two weeks resulting in a slightly earthy style that is great with roasted veggies."
— Amy Racine, advanced sommelier at The Times Square EDITION in New York, NY Eschenhof Holzer
'Invaders Natural' Muller-Thurgau Orange Wine 2017, $18.98
Buy Agnes et Rene Mosse Moussamoussettes Rosé — Grolleau, Gamay & Cabernet Franc from Loire Valley
"This dry-style sparkling rosé is very fresh and has hints of aromatic strawberries and cream. It is definitely a crowd pleaser and perfect for parties. I love that is light enough to enjoy with appetizers but also delicious with lighter meats like roasted chicken and grilled pork tenderloin."
— Nora Hoefer, in-house wine concierge at Empathy Wines and certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers Level II) Agnes and Rene Mosse
2017 Moussamoussettes Petillant Naturel, $29.00
Buy Las Jaras Rosé 2017
"Eric Wareheim (yes, the actor from
Master Of None
) is making this wine alongside Joel Burt in Northern California. I first purchased this wine because I was curious about what Eric was up to — and it did not disappoint. He is one of a handful of celebrity winemakers, aside from
, that is producing wines with character and authenticity, not simply slapping his name on a label.
The 2017 vintage is 100% Old Vine Carignan (current release is a blend with more Zinfandel). It is spritzy and lightly floral with aromas of strawberry blossom and candied grapefruit, crisp and refreshing. This wine is perfect on its own or alongside goat cheese drizzled with lavender honey."
— Nora Hoefer, in-house wine concierge at Empathy Wines and certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers Level II) Las Jaras Wines
2018 Rosé, $27.00
Buy Calabretta 'Cala Cala' Rosso NV
"Sicily is one of my favorite regions to look for quality and value. 'Cala Cala’ literally translates to 'Gulp Gulp.' It is a multi-vintage wine that is made to be enjoyed all of the time. A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from Sicily, this wine has a balance of both fruit and earthy, herbaceous tones. It is medium-bodied with dark cherry and plum tones and a bit smoky with herbaceous notes of thyme and rosemary. This is delicious with gamey meats like lamb or venison, or with hearty mushroom-based dishes."
— Nora Hoefer, in-house wine concierge at Empathy Wines and certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers Level II) Calabretta
Cala Cala Rosso, $16.98
Buy Eric Texier Cote du Rhone Brezeme Rouge
"This is from one of my favorite producers and brings huge value. 100% Syrah with fruit notes of ripe blackberry, black cherry. and blueberry with hints of black pepper and leather. This is ideal to have alongside a perfectly charred hamburger."
— Nora Hoefer, in-house wine concierge for Empathy Wines and certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers Level II) Eric Texier
Brezeme Cotes Du Rhone 2015, $29.99
Buy Antonio Lopes Ribeiro, Biotite 2017, Vinho Verde, Portugal
"Produced from primarily loureiro with a touch of arinto, biotite is not your average vinho verde. The team behind Casa de Mouraz allows the wine to ferment a touch longer, resulting in slightly more weight, texture, and complexity."
— Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY Antonio Lopes Ribeiro
Morgon "Corcelette," Dom. Desvignes, $16.96
Buy Artifice, Tinto 2016, Canary Islands, Spain
"I've long been obsessed with the Canary Islands and fell for the wines from Borja Perez a few years back. The Artifice is 100% Listán Negro — medium, smoky, full of dark fruit notes, and perfect with a chill!"
— Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY Borja Perez
Artifice, Tinto 2016, $19.98
Buy Pittnauer Pitti 2017, Burgenland, Austria
"Gerhard Pittnauer has always been inspired by experimentation, producing wines that are pure expressions of his vineyards and vintage. The Pitti is a blend of zweigelt, blaufränkisch, and merlot — lean, fresh, juicy, and bursting with red berry notes."
— Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY Pittnauer
Pitti Burgenland Red 2016 (750ml), $14.99
Buy Cacique Maravilla, Pipeño, Bio-Bio, Chile, 2018
"Brought to Chile by Spanish missionaries in the mid-16th century, País (or Mission as it is known in California) has for too long been considered a second-rate grape variety in Chile where it was traditionally reserved for bulk wine production. Thankfully things are changing. Capable of producing dense, long-lived wines, it also makes highly quaffable examples like this
. Juicy and savoury, think pomegranate juice with a dash of smoke."
— Isabelle Legeron, founder of RAW WINE and Master of Wine Cacique Maravilla
Pipeño (2018), $19.98
Buy End of Nowhere, Phantom Limb, Carbonic Zinfandel, California, 2018
"Nestled in the Sierra foothills, Amador County's wine history dates back to the Gold Rush of the 1850s when small wineries set up shop to quench the thirst of fortune hunters. Chris Walsh's End of Nowhere wines showcase grapes grown by small farmers in these hills. This light, whole-bunch fermented zinfandel is particularly delicious chilled. Floral and leafy on the nose, it tastes of wild strawberry coulis. A treat on a hot summer day."
— Isabelle Legeron, founder of RAW WINE and Master of Wine End of Nowhere
Carbonic Zinfandel 2017, $26.95
Buy Cascina degli Ulivi, Bellotti Bianco Semplicemente, Piedmont, Italy, 2017
"This lean, fragrant, easy-drinking white, with notes of fresh almonds and mirabelle plums, is not only a delicious drink but also the last vintage by the legendary Piemontese natural wine producer, Stefano Bellotti (of Cascina degli Ulivi), who practiced biodynamic viticulture for over 30 years. An inspiration to producers all over the world, Stefano's passion for nature was contagious. He passed away in the fall of 2018.
is the perfect starting point for exploring his legacy."
— Isabelle Legeron, founder of RAW WINE and Master of Wine Cascina degli Ulivi
'Bellotti Bianco Semplicemente', 2017, $22.99
Buy Delinquente Screaming Betty Riverland Vermentino 2018
"Con-Greg Grigoriou works with Italian grape varieties that are wonderfully well-suited to the hot, dry climate of The Riverlands. This means minimal intervention required in the vineyard and the winery. His vermentino is like a grown-up version of a lemonhead candy – tart citrus flavors with a tiny hint of sweetness to balance the sneaky racy acidity."
— Christy Frank, education development manager for Wine Australia and partner at Copake Wine Works in the Berkshires Delinquente
Delinquente Screaming Betty Vermentino 2018, $20.99
Buy Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Clare Valley Dolcetto 2017
"Another example of an Italian grape by way of Australia, this one is from winemaking duo Laura and Brendan Carter. It's what the Aussies call a smashable red — light-weight but full of vibrant, crunchy fruit and perfect with a bit of a chill. Pair it with rooftops, beaches, and front porch stoops."
— Christy Frank, education development manager for Wine Australia and partner at Copake Wine Works in the Berkshires Unico Zelo
Cherry Fields Dolcetto 2016, $19.98