What is orange wine and why all the rave?

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Is it just us or does every second wine bar make it their utmost priority to tell us about the amazing new bio-dynamic orange wine we should try? The answers to what you need to know about orange wine. And yes you are not alone in wondering what this overwhelming wine obsession is all about.

Orange wine has actually been around for over 6,000 years and is an all skin-contact wine.

One thing is certain. There will always be a Summer drink.

In 2017 it was Rose. In 2018 it was Aperol Spritz. And then it was Hard Seltzer with cranberry and carbonated additives. We see today a real push for bio-dynamic and Organic wines that make us a little healthier. Or so we would like to believe.

Unlike Seltzer which is cheap, easy to drink, with a sense of humor itself; Orange wine is expensive to produce due to its growing approach, against the use of pesticides and targets a younger Millennial customer. The total opposite to premium Pinot Noir drinkers. You might never truly love it, but at least try it. And time will tell whether Orange wine will continue to be on the shelf.

Is orange wine like rose?

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Orange wine is unique from white, red and rose win.

For roses the skins are mixed in to colour the juice and are removed once pressed for a period of time. In the case of orange wine, grape skins are left on throughout fermentation and removed prior to bottling (filtration).

How to make orange wine

The term skin contact can be used to describe red wines, as they get their rich red colour from fermenting in grape skins. But the term ‘orange wine’ is only applied to white grapes, where skin contact produces a different ‘grippy’ and tannic style wine.

Orange wines are technically the product of vinifying white grapes, just how red wine is normally made. Instead of removing skins after grapes are pressed (as is the process for whites). Juice -called must, is fermented in contact with skins. This colors the juice with the original grape skin colour, and gives it structure of tannin and bitterness similar to a red wine.

Taste & pairing with food

Orange wines vary significantly in taste. Most commonly they display bold and savory flavors of stone-fruit, citrus, oolong tea, peach and honey. Due to their bold character, they tend to pair best with bold dishes; such as curries, Moroccan and African cuisine, and hearty Asian dished such as fermented kimichi from Korea and fermented soybeans and tofu from Japan.