A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating the Growing Diversity of Orange Wine
Orange wine is a type of wine that has been increasing in popularity over the past few years. It is a style of winemaking that involves leaving white grapes in contact with their skins during fermentation, resulting in a unique flavor profile and orange-hued color. As more producers experiment with this technique, there are now many different types and styles of orange wine available on the market.
What is Orange Wine?
Orange wine is made by fermenting white grapes with their skins still intact. This process allows for greater contact between the grape juice and skin, which can result in a range of flavors and aromas not typically found in white wines. The resulting wine can have varying hues from light gold to deep amber or orange.
The practice of making orange wine dates back thousands of years, particularly in Georgia where it originated. However, it was only recently rediscovered by modern winemakers who recognized its unique qualities.
Orange wines tend to be more full-bodied than traditional white wines due to their extended skin contact. They also often have high levels of tannins and acidity, which give them structure and complexity.
In terms of flavor profile, orange wines can vary widely depending on factors such as grape variety, terroir, and winemaker techniques. Some common characteristics include notes of stone fruits like apricot or peach, floral aromas like jasmine or honeysuckle, and savory elements like herbs or spices.
How to Serve Orange Wine
Like any other type of wine, serving temperature plays an important role in bringing out the best flavors from your bottle. Orange wines should generally be served slightly chilled at around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (13-16 degrees Celsius). This temperature range will help balance out the tannins and acidity while allowing you to taste all the complex flavors.
When opening your bottle of orange wine, it's always best to let it breathe for a bit before serving. You can do this by simply uncorking the bottle about 30 minutes prior to drinking or using a decanter if you have one handy.
Pairing Orange Wine With Food
Pairing food with orange wine requires some consideration since they tend to have bold flavors that may overwhelm lighter dishes. However, when paired correctly they can complement certain foods beautifully.
Some ideal pairing options include:
- Richer seafood dishes like lobster bisque
- Creamy pasta sauces featuring ingredients like truffle oil
- Roasted meats such as lamb or duck
- Spicy cuisine like Indian or Thai dishes
It's worth noting that these are just guidelines - ultimately what tastes good together will depend on personal preference!
Exploring Different Styles & Types
There are many different styles and types of orange wine available today thanks to increased experimentation by winemakers worldwide. Here are some examples:
Traditional Georgian Method: This method involves fermenting crushed grapes (skin-on) inside clay vessels called qvevri buried underground for several months until ready for consumption without added yeast nor bacteria culture nor preservatives.
Amber Wines: These wines follow traditional Georgian methods but allow for much shorter maceration times (often weeks instead of months) so they retain more fruitiness than earthy qualities.