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What's the deal with orange wine? Should I try it?



Have you ever found yourself in a wine store looking at an unfamiliar bottle that has an almost sunset color? Congrats - you've found an orange wine! While orange wine has been around for (almost) forever, it has recently exploded in popularity.

 

This style of wine is actually one of the oldest known winemaking styles in the world, dating back about 5000 years. It’s a process that starts with white grapes that are mashed with the skin and seeds, placed into a large vessel which is often ceramic or cement (like the ones seen on the left) and then left alone. This process can take anywhere from a few days to over a year to develop the flavor the winemaker is looking for. The wine can be made from any white grape, is all very natural and uses little to no additives, sometimes not even yeast. Like many other natural wines it’s common to see this style both filtered and unfiltered, even having crystallized sediment in the bottom of some bottles. 

When it comes to flavor, this wine drinks like no other. Typically found in very bold and robust styles, it has a taste that’s very different from classic white wines. The natural process the wine goes through generally gives it a slightly sour flavor and nuttiness, and has even been described as having flavors of jackfruit, hazelnut, almonds, citrus fruit, sourdough, bruised apple and wood varnish. Big and dry on the palate, it tends to taste more like a red wine than white, even having tannins.

 

Since orange wines are so bold, they tend to pair with the same foods that pair with red wines After all, bold wines go well with bold food. Drink with charcuterie, aged cheeses, beef, pork, duck, and most autumnal food. If you like full bodied wines or even fruit beer and want to try something a little different, than why not pickup a bottle for your next tasting.