Now summer is well and truly with us, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of wine commentators talking about orange wine. Orange wine has actually been the subject of conversation for a few years now, but it hasn’t quite gone mainstream – at least not yet. But with the broadening of tastes and styles in the wine world, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a standard in our wine racks.
So, what is orange wine?
Well, first off, a bit of history. Orange wine originated in Georgia where it’s been made for hundreds – even thousands – of years. From there, orange winemaking techniques travelled to Slovenia and on into Italy, before spreading into Europe and the world. So, whilst it’s been made for centuries, it’s a relative new kid on the block outside Georgia.
In terms of how it’s made, it’s essentially white wine that has been left in contact with the skins for a period of time. If you’ve read our article on how white wine is made, you’ll know that usually to make white wine, the juice is pressed from the grapes and fermented separately without the skins, so it doesn’t absorb any of their colour or flavour. Orange wine goes completely against that principle. The grape juice (or must to give it its proper name) is kept in contact with the skins and flesh for much longer – usually throughout fermentation - which means the final wine takes on a much deeper richer colour: from a pale peach to a deep golden amber.
It's not just the colour that changes. The wine will also take on more of the flavour profile from the grapes – as well as more tannin. What you end up with is a wine that has the freshness of a white with the structure of a red. Which makes it a perfect summer option for wine drinkers who want something with a bit more going on than a standard white.
It’s also good for a broad range of food pairings. It’s great with Asian food, and is perfect coupled with fish like cod, salmon, or tuna, not to mention white meat and poultry.
If you fancy giving orange wine a go, we’ve got the perfect option below. Our new range of wines from Verum includes the excellent Ulterior Naranja. A wine with dense orange tones, aromas of grapefruit, ripe apples, and a subtle hint of sherry. The wine also has traces of dried flowers, country herbs, peach, and ripe melon, making for a very different profile to your average summer wine.