This weekend, The Wild Detectives, the independent bookstore and haven for all things hip and niche, is co-hosting a trio of days around natural wine.
If you’re heard about natural wine, and like any good hipster, sought it out, you probably know that it’s hard to come by—certainly by the glass, this not being, say, Brooklyn or San Francisco.
The three-day event is the brain child of Seth Brammer, formerly at Filament, his business partner wunderkind chef Josh Sutcliff—most recently at places like FT33 and Mirador—and Bar & Garden owner Julie Buckner. (The name they’ve given the event, Skin Contact, is a sly nod to a wine-making term.)
What you can expect is a three-day backyard party, 3 p.m. until midnight.
Saturday will involve a roasted lamb, harvested from Cartermere Farms, to be served with fresh masa tortillas (hopefully from Revolver Taco Lounge). A mouthwatering menu of small bites—all unfussy, all under $10—will include grilled chicken thighs with a wild nasturtium chimichurri; mushrooms filled with a mushroom duxelle and chicken-liver mousse laced with crispy chicken skin (or without chicken skin for vegans); a salad of petite greens, which Sutcliff will harvest on Thursday—a whole array of watercress and lettuces, dressed in a simple red-wine vinaigrette. This is how Sutcliff rolls, with his uber-farmer-inspired sensibility. Partnerships with farmers (Profound Microgreens, Cartermere Farms, and Texas Fungus) were tantamount for Sutcliff and Brammer, who, as Catherine Downes has noted, have a farm-to-table restaurant in the works.
And the wines: 12 options for natural wine by the glass. Jeff Gregory, formerly of FT33 and Filament, helped picked the line-up with Buckner. It includes a crisp, refreshing chardonnay from Southold Farms (Texas); a cloudy, extraordinarily nuanced rosé from Donkey and Goat (California); and a fabulous gamay noir Beaujolais that’s alive and lithe (Domaine Chapel Julienas, France).
Farmed organically, with low-intervention in the vineyard and in the wine-making process and fermentation with natural yeasts, natural wine is to wine what natural levain sourdough is to the bread world. If it’s to have its day in Dallas, people have to try it, love it, realize how food-friendly and vibrant it is. Bar & Garden’s Saturday tastings are a way of expanding your natural-wine palate; but this unprecedented pop-up is a way to see how it works with food. Talk with farmers. Talk with somms. Come with an open mind. Leave with a new favorite pet-nat.
When: April 26, 27, 28, 3 p.m. until midnight