Working with natural wine, we get a lot of newbies that have never heard of orange wine. The most common question we get asked is: is it made with oranges? Sadly, no, but it is still very tasty. Here we want to give a bit more information on orange wine and why we love it so much!
How is orange wine made?
Orange wine is white wine that is made like red wine, normally when you make a white wine the grape skins are floating in the grape juice and are removed. With orange wine, the skins are left in contact with the juice, which is why orange wine can be referred to as ‘skin contact wine’. The skins can be left in the juice for different time periods, ranging from days to months and in some cases nearly a year!
The orange colour of the wine is a byproduct of leaving the skins in the juice, it gives the white wine a darker colour, often leaving it with a beautiful orange hue. Sorry to those that were hoping oranges are involved - it happens to the best of us.
So, how does it taste?
The skin is a key ingredient here, as the thin layer contains an array of chemicals that change the flavour of the wine. This nature of fruit skin is shared across many fruits, think of eating an apple with and without the skin. With the skin is always tastier, right?
By leaving the skins in contact with the juice, just like with red wine, the process produces tannin. Tannin produces that bitter taste and slight drying mouth feeling that is found in red wine, and is also present in orange wine due to the similar process. This is why orange wine is such a unique experience, it is a white wine, but it drinks like a red wine, does that make sense? The taste is robust and full-bodied, it has intensity and a great depth of flavour like a red wine but also has the refreshing qualities of a white wine. If this description has left you curious, we have the perfect place for you to check out some amazing orange wines, right here!
Where has orange wine come from?
You may be wondering how you have never heard of orange wine, asking yourself if it’s a new invention. Well, it’s not, it’s actually been around for a long time, around 6000 B.C. is the predicted date of invention. However, it did fall into obscurity for a while, taking a backseat to its much more popular counterparts in red and white wine. Thankfully, orange wine is back in fashion, and we couldn’t be happier about it because it is some of the tastiest and interesting wine available.
How should you enjoy orange wine?
We recommend you chill an orange wine before consuming, but not as cold as white wine, around 12-15 degrees is the sweet spot as you do not want to risk muting the flavours by making it too cold. Enjoy it alone, or with food! Orange wine is great for pairing with food, they are very versatile and can work with a whole meal. Check out KERB’s range of orange wines here.