Orange Wine - Your Eyes Did Not Deceive You!

Orange Wine?

Orange wine is a bit of a misnomer, as it's not wine made from the fruit of oranges, nor is it a Mimosa cocktail make with sparkling wine. The phrase is useful to describe the category though, as it pulls together wines with colors actually ranging from pink to vivid orange. Over the past decade or so, however, orange wine has gone from an ancient and obscure winemaking practice, to a hip vino insiders’ favorite. Before you run into a bottle on a Wine List, I'm going to answer all the questions you might have about orange wine, but were too embarrassed to ask:

What’s so unique about how the production of orange wine?

All skin-contact wines are not orange, but all orange wines are made from skin contact. Orange wines are the twisted sisters of Rosé. Rosé is a red wine where contact with the skins has been limited to prevent pigment and tannin extraction yielding light, rose colored wines. With orange wine, grape varieties associated with white wine production - are subjected to extensive skin contact yielding wines that are lightly tannic and orange toned. A Rosé for white wine!

Is it made from oranges?

While there are a few obscure fruit fermented beverages made from oranges, this is not what most wine lovers are referring to.

Is orange wine a new invention?

No, the first examples of orange wine appeared over 6,000 years ago in the Caucasus region, in the area now known as Georgia (the country, not the state).

What do you pair orange wines with for food?

Orange wines are bold and complex, but you shouldn’t shy away from pairing them with food. They’re especially great at pairing with dishes whose flavors might better match a white wine, Cournot says, but require the fuller body of a red.

What to expect in my glass?

The unexpected! Orange wines tend to be, well, a little orangey, and frequently have a hint of bitterness due to their tannins. Most of the wines combine typical fruity notes with hints of nuts, roasted tones and savory nuances. The tannins allow these wines to develop in the bottle and many find a wonderful textural balance after a few years aging.

Forget Red, White, and Rosé ~ Orange Wine Is What You Should Be Asking For