Wine review – Orange wine – Today, I take a pause from red and white wine and look at something in very vogue now: orange wine. Despite the name, orange wine is not made with oranges; rather, it is the end product of leaving grape must in contact with its skins for a determined length of time. This results in a white wine with a marked orange hue.
While there is something mysterious about it, the color itself is its main selling point. The real appeal of orange wine lies in its profile. Orange wine merges the best qualities of white wine with the complexity of a red. It’s really the perfect tradeoff for consumers that can’t decide between the two colours.
As mentioned, orange wine is the result of allowing the grape juice to remain in contact with the seeds and skins for a long period of time. The white grapes are harvested, mashed, and then placed in a large container. The mixture is set to ferment for several days. The end result is the distinct honey-amber colour of this fascinating wine.
Orange wine used to be rare but recently it has reached a new level of hype amongst wine lovers in the last few years. The wine is produced in traditional wine countries with a few new ones starting to experiment with orange wine production. The major producers are Italy, France, Spain, Austria, South Africa, the United States, Slovenia, and Australia.
Despite its unique origins, it is not surprising that orange wine has a unique taste that differs from many other wines. Despite its dry and crisp nature, orange wines could be robust with a particular taste that ranges from tropical fruit to cider and nuts. Some wine lovers have described the wine as having a noticeable umami flavor. It also has hints of bread, yeast, and honey. In my experience, most of the orange wines that I tried have a delicious core of citric- balsamic flavours.
When it comes to drinking orange wine, you can pair it with whatever you like. Some sommeliers think that fall is the perfect season for orange wine. In my experience this style of wine pairs best with chicken, poultry and veal dishes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin dishes, or other fall dishes. Although seafood pairings could be interesting, these are not the ideal for orange wine.
Wine review – Orange wine to try
Denavolo Catavela 2018. $30. Emilia-Romagna, Italy ( Private Import-Primavin)
A very exuberant orange wine. Made with Malvasia and Roussanne, it bows the drinker over with its fantastic core of citrus and floral nuances. Low alcohol with a lip smacking acidity complemented by a fizzy texture and a psychedelic floral finale. It should work very well with certain sushi preparations involving fried elements. Pure delight.
Colombaia Bianco 2018. $48.15 Tuscany, Italy ( Private Import-Rezin)
A half half blend of Malvasia and Trebbiano. Very tasty and savoury with nuances of ginger, citrus fruits and herbal teas. Very refreshing with subdued mineral tones. Quite vibrant with an everlasting finale. It should be wonderful with light cream pastas.
La Cerretina Pacina Bianco 2017 around $50. ( Private Import, Ward & associates)
One of my top all time favourite orange wines of all times. An equal blend of Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti. It has a wonderful nose reminiscent of wild honey, flowers with a touch of tobacco leaf and spice. On the palate, broad shouldered with a big earthy texture. This is your go orange wine for chops on the BBQ.