Orange wine, also known as amber wine or skin-contact wine, is a style of wine that has gained popularity at Glug in recent years. Unlike traditional white wines, which are made by fermenting grape juice without the grape skins, orange wines are produced by fermenting white grape juice together with the grape skins and sometimes the seeds and stems as well. This extended contact with the grape skins gives the wine an orange or amber color, hence the name.
The practice of making orange wine has ancient origins, dating back thousands of years to the Caucasus region (modern-day Georgia, Armenia, and Iran), where it is believed to have originated. In recent times, it has experienced a revival and has spread to various winemaking regions around the world.
The process of making orange wine involves leaving the crushed grapes in contact with the skins for an extended period, typically ranging from several days to several months. During this time, the grape skins impart tannins, pigments, and flavors to the wine, resulting in its characteristic amber hue and a more robust and complex profile compared to traditional white wines. The tannins contribute to a textured mouthfeel, similar to what you would find in red wines.
After the fermentation and skin contact phase, the wine is separated from the solids and transferred to barrels or tanks for aging. The aging process can vary depending on the winemaker's preference, but orange wines are often aged in neutral vessels like old oak barrels or clay amphorae to minimize the influence of additional flavors.
The flavor profile of orange wine can vary widely depending on the grape varieties used, the winemaking techniques employed, and the region of production. However, some common characteristics include a range of flavors from dried fruits, citrus, and apricot to nutty and oxidative notes. The wines can exhibit a combination of freshness, complexity, and a slightly funky or earthy quality, which sets them apart from other styles.
Orange wines are typically enjoyed at cellar temperature, around 13-15°C, to allow the wine's flavours and aromas to fully express themselves. They pair well with a variety of foods, including rich and spicy dishes, charcuterie, and aged cheeses.
Overall, orange wines offer a unique and distinct drinking experience, appealing to wine enthusiasts who enjoy exploring different styles and flavors beyond the traditional red and white wine spectrum.
We love them & watch out for many more being added to our shelves & the website in the coming months!
See you soon, Dee