Have you ever heard of orange wine? The thought of orange flavored wine may not be the most inviting, but luckily the term “orange wine” doesn’t mean that the wine is made from actual oranges. The term is a bit of a misnomer, as it is more indicative of the wine’s unique coloring than the type of fruit that it’s made from.
So, what is orange wine and what does it taste like? In this guide from wineUdesign, you will learn all you need to know about this unique wine.
What is Orange Wine?
Orange wine is a special type of white wine that is produced when the grape skins and seeds stay in contact with the juice for longer than usual. The colors from the skin and seeds start seeping into the juice, thus giving the wine a deeper orange hue.
How is Orange Wine Made?
To make orange wine, white grapes are mashed and then placed in a large container, traditionally made from cement or ceramic. The grape juice, skin, and seeds are left in the container to ferment untouched for anywhere from four days to over a year. Making orange wine is considered a natural process because it uses little to no additives, not even yeast in most cases.
What Does Orange Wine Taste Like?
Because of the way orange wine is made, the final product tastes very different from traditional white wines. Most orange wine has a savory flavor that is bolder, sourer, and nuttier than other types of white wine, even those made from the same white grapes. This unique flavor profile comes from oxidation.
Orange wine’s flavor profile typically carries flavors like strong oolong tea with a hint of peach and a touch of honey, although the wine is not sweet. The flavors in orange wine change with the temperature at which it is served. Like most wines, orange wine’s flavor is subtler when chilled and becomes more expressive as the wine warms up.
Where Does Orange Wine Come From?
The orange wine making process was first used and popularized in Italy by winemaker Josko Gravner in 1997. Since then, orange wine has been made by progressive winemakers around the world, including those from northeastern Italy, Slovenia, Georgia, United States, Australia, France, Austria, and South Africa.
Orange wines are made using the indigenous white grapes grown in these regions, including Sauvignon Vert (Friulano), Ribolla Gialla, and Pinot Grigio. In Italy, you may hear some orange wines referred to as “Ramato,” which means “auburn” in Italian. This particular type of orange wine is made from Pinot Grigio grapes.
Orange Wine Food Pairings
Orange wine has a bold flavor, so it pairs best with bold flavored international dishes like curry, Moroccan and Ethiopian cuisine, and Korean and Japanese dishes that feature fermented ingredients like kimchi or natto. But because this type of wine has a high phenolic content (tannin and bitterness) and a nutty tartness, it can pairs well with a wide variety of red meats and bolder tasting fish.