Orange wine. Have you heard of it?
We’re not talking about fruit wine made from oranges. I’m talking about wine made from grapes that is orange.
Sound weird? Maybe at first but it’s actually a process that’s been around for over 5000 years. In recent history it was very popular between the 1950’s and 1960’s in Italy. With more and more people looking for traditional, “purer” wines they fell out of popularity for a bit.
But they are back! And you should really consider bringing a bottle to the next dinner you attend. It’ll get people talking for sure!
Similar to rose or white wines in that they are best served chilled. Orange wines are great for those warm summer evenings. But since it’s fall, we’ll just say that it works because the colour is right for the season. Or because we don’t want to give in to adjusting that thermostat. Either or!
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Stunning right? This picture, found in a recent Vogue article reaffirms why you need to give this variety a try.
How does orange wine get its colour?
Orange wine is commonly known as skin contact wine. Think of it as skin on skin like we do with our babies, but its grapes with grapes. Skin contact means that the skin has not been removed for fermentation and that the white grape skins are left in for weeks or sometimes even months. Having the skin stay in during fermentation brings us that amber, orangey colour. This type of winemaking is the exact opposite of the process of making rose which is when you remove the skins from red grapes as quickly as possible.
If you’re a purist, in that you use green cleaning products, purchase organic foods and so on, this wine may speak to you. Why? Because it’s the most pure way to make wine. It has little to no additives, which is a bonus, as well as almost no yeast.
Don’t let the light hue fool you. While these are light in colour, their flavour is not what you would expect. Since they are so oxidized, orange wines are often sour or nutty in flavour. Not what you would expect from either a white or rose wine right? Think of them as dry, bold, and similar to the taste of a fruity beer.
Are you pretty intrigued now right? So where in your local shop will you find these? Let me share the countries you will want to look for!
Now that you have a better idea of which isles to wander down the next time you’re in your local boozy establishment, let me know what you thought! Drop a comment below on your experience with skin contact, aka, orange wine.
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