Orange wine has been ticking its way across the headlines for some time now. It’s the newest trend in wine and everyone from Vogue to The New York Post has been singing its praises as “the new rosé.” While it’s a seemingly new creation, orange wine is actually a tradition that’s been around for thousands of years in the republic of Georgia. It’s only recently that this style of wine was revived by Italian and Slovenian winemakers, putting it back on the map. Because of its popularity over the last five years or so, vintners from all over the world, from Long Island to South Africa have been producing the stuff–which is why this orange-hued vino is having its day in the sun.
Why is this all happening now? Malcolm Gladwell might have something to say about how this trend started, but we here at WineNight think the reason is threefold. One: Because of the ubiquity of everyone’s favorite summertime pink drink, there was bound to be a need for something new on which to sip. Two: We’re in an age of everything-old-is-new- again, so updating a classic drink is very on point, post-modern. Three: Orange wine is made with few additives via a very natural process, which is what more and more people are opting for these days overall. All these factors combined make orange wine very much a sign of the times.
Because orange wine shows no signs of slowing down, we wanted to be sure to introduce you to it properly, so you’ll know what to look out for and what to buy the next time you come across an orange-hued bottle in your local wine shop. Not only that, with our spookiest holiday around the corner, we wanted to be sure you did adult Halloween right: with a glass of orange wine in hand.
If you have an orange you love or have anything to add, please join in the conversation in the comment section below!
How Is Orange Wine Different From All Other Wines?
Red wines are made with its grape skins left in to macerate. White wines are made with grapes that’s skin is removed in the process of making it. And an orange wine uses white grapes and leaves the skins in to macerate over a few days or weeks. So, in essence, orange wine is a white wine produced like a red wine. It achieves its orange color because the green skins stay in contact longer with the juice.
How Does It Taste?
“Orange wines have the freshness of whites with the structure of reds,” says John Wurdeman, owner of Pheasant’s Tears winery. “So they can be compared to both white and red wines, but they are their own genre.” This also means they can be enjoyed year-round as a full-bodied summer wine or a refreshing winter wine. You decide!
In terms of taste, orange wines tend to be big and bold with hits of apricot and peach, as well as a lot of nuttiness and honeysuckle. Orange wine is bursting with such an abundant mouthful of aromatics, do prepare your taste buds before to be besieged by some hefty flavors before you take a swig.
Which Foods Does It Go With?
Orange wine is so bold, it pairs super well with bolder foods. Winefolly says “orange wines pair excellently well with curry dishes, Moroccan cuisine, Ethiopian cuisine, Korean dishes with fermented kimchi, and traditional Japanese cuisine. Due to the high phenolic content (tannin and bitterness) and the nutty tartness they exhibit, orange wines pair with a wide variety of meats, ranging from beef to fish.” So the range is pretty extensive. And a good reason to grab an orange in the cooler months!
Which Bottles Should I Try?
2014 Dirty & Rowdy Sémillon
2011 Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli
2014 Skin Fermented Chardonnay
2016 La Clarine One-Eight
2013 Iago’s Wine Chinuri
2008 Radikon Ribolla Gialla
2012 Fog Monster
2013 Gewürztraminer Vin Rustique
2012 Foradori Nosiola Fontanasanta
2011 Coenobrium “Ruscum”