Orange wine - you’ve undoubtedly heard about it but you may not be so clear on the definition. It’s time to get with the programme as orange wine is flying off the shelves this summer. So, what’s it all about exactly? Here are the answers to all of your questions about orange wine.
What is orange wine?
Orange wine stands stylistically between red and white wine. White grapes are picked and processed in a way that is usually used for the production of red wines. This method creates wines with more colour and substance than a typical white wine. Rather than displaying simple, fruity profiles, orange wines have preserved fruit with earthy and vegetal aromas.
On the palate, orange wines can offer a profusion of sensations due to their bigger amounts of phenolic compounds. These wines are often fuller-bodied, with more tannin and elevated astringency. These are created by extraction from the grapes’ skin and seeds during the winemaking process.
How is it made?
White wine is commonly produced by grape juice extraction followed by fermentation. In contrast, red and orange wines are created by the fermentation of whole bunch grapes - skin included.
Are orange wines natural wines?
Despite being produced following a very old-school method, Orange wine is not necessarily a 'natural wine'. It’s traditional in that white wine grapes used to be fermented whole until the invention of the mechanical press.
However, grapes processed using this ancient method of fermentation are not necessarily grown following organic practices or produced into wine using natural wine processes. That’s not to say that there aren’t natural orange wines out there.
How should you store orange wine and how long does it last?
All wines like to be kept in a cool, dark and fairly humid place ; orange wine is no exception. Thanks to higher amounts ofphenolic compounds it should last longer than a white made from the same grapes, but it truly depends on the quality of the bottle. It’s always a good bet to look for guidance from critics on the age potential of a specific cuvée...
Which foods does it pair particularly well with?
Orange wines offer a large span of characteristics that match with varied food. Curry is a good place to start exploring the potential of orange wine with food, but if Indian spicing isn’t your thing, you can chill it down a bit with dishes from the Middle East or North Africa. Think of more pungent cheese, oven roasted vegetables or even charcuterie.
Right after opening, orange wines can sometimes seem a bit abrupt , so don’t hesitate to use a carafe or a decanter to let the wine breath. You may be surprised how much some of these wines can change over time.
There you go - the mystery of orange wine unveiled. Now that you have the knowledge, start training your palate with our selection of orange wines.