Even though it has been on the market for over 15 years there is still an aura of secrecy surrounding orange wine. It has gained in popularity in the last couple of years, but what is it that makes it so special, and no, there are no oranges in it. Let’s find out!
How it’s made
Essentially orange wine is white wine made the way red wine is usually made. So grapes are crushed and the skins are left to macerate with the juice for some time. They are then removed and the wine is made. This extracts as much more colour and taste from the grapes.
Now your next question might be, isn’t is simply rose? Well, no rose is made from red grapes, and short skin contact, during or previous to fermentation.
What about the taste
“Orange wines have the freshness of whites with the structure of reds,” John Wurdeman
This means that these wines are dry and fresh and not sweet at all so don’t let the name and color fool you. In reality, due to the hybrid winemaking method used for these wines, orange wines turn out more similar in body and flavours to red wines than to common whites. This means you should definitely serve them on room temperature rather then chilled.
The origin story
This wine dates bake some 5000 years, and the technique sued is said to originate from Georgia, in former Soviet Union. However over time it got lost and was resurrected by an Italian winemaker in early 2000s. Apart from several European countries and the US, Australia is one of the countries dominating the orange wine market. And it is a magical experience for any true wine connoisseur to actually taste orange wine in Australia, at one of the renowned local wineries.
Food pairing with orange wines
Now despite their soft color these are some really bold wines which pair excellently well with equally bold foods. The list includes curry dishes, Moroccan cuisine, Ethiopian cuisine, Korean dishes with fermented kimchi along with the traditional Japanese cuisine. So as you can see this wine has what it takes to hold its own with some very strong flavours coming from traditional cuisines of the listed countries. In addition, due to their high phenolic content (tannin and bitterness) along with the nutty tartness they exhibit, orange wines pair with a wide variety of meats, ranging from beef to fish.
They are great for organic production
One of the main reasons orange wine is making a comeback is that it was a part of a broader search for a more ‘back-to-basics’ winemaking methods. So from the moment the renesansne of this great wine started it has been promoted as organic so now the vast majority of orange wines are natural. So you can expect most of them to be sulfite-free and preservative- free. Of course, there are some risks involved with this type of production. Mostly due to the fact that when not making use of chemical treatments also means that a producer has less certainty on the quantity and the quality if the wines produced each year. So it can happen that a wine producer decides not to place their orange wine on the market if the quality is less than satisfactory that particular year. This also means that you can expect very high quality from the orange wines on the market and it justifies the hire price.
You are all caught up now, it is time to open a bottle and enjoy this exquisite wine in some good company.