All about... orange wine

There are 3 possibilities when referring to orange wine. One is a wine made with oranges, instead of grapes. Another is a type of cocktail (1 part orange juice to 2 parts sparkling wine.)

But the orange wines we're interested in are something entirely different. They are wines made with white grapes, but using techniques usually associated with red wines. The grape skins and seeds are left in in contact with the juice (maceration) for much longer than with normal white wine, and the wine is aged for much longer.
 
Orange wines are usually made using natural procedures: spontaneous fermentation, no added yeasts, very little sulphur, no cooling in the fermentation phase and ageing is done on lees in wooden barrels. The wines are usually not filtered before bottling - so this is only done when the wine has cleared naturally.
 
All these processes and techniques create a deep orange-hued wine (the longer the maceration, the deeper the colour). The flavours are those more associated with red wines; lots of tannins with aromas of grapes and other fresh fruits, with additional herbal notes. There is a sourness and nuttiness to the taste that is unique - and they can be very intense!
 
Although orange wines are fairly 'new' on the market, they are actually the traditional way of making white wines, which fell out of favour over the years. They can be paired with anything that red wines are associated with, but are particularly good with fish and seafood.

Paul


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