Orange Wine Is The New Rosé On The Block


If you’ve had enough rosé this summer to last you the whole year, it’s time to look in a new direction with orange wine. The name itself is misleading since orange wine doesn’t actually have anything to do with oranges. While orange wine has only recently resurfaced, the orange winemaking style itself is ancient, going back as far as 5,000 years.

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What Does Orange Wine Taste Like?

Orange wines can be described as bold, robust and honeyed (food containing or coated with honey). They have an aroma of hazelnuts, brazil nuts, sourdough, bruised apples, juniper and jackfruit, a fleshy, sweet-smelling tropical fruit. When you taste an orange wine you’ll notice it’s dry with tannins like a red wine, but it has a sourness that’s kind of similar to a fruit beer.

In terms of how it’s made, grapes are mashed up and put into a large vessel, usually ceramic or cement. The grapes are fermented anywhere from four days up to a year, sometimes more, with all of the skins and seeds still intact. There are little to no additives involved in the process. It’s all very natural and, as a result, an orange wine has a sour and nutty taste.

What Does Orange Wine Look Like?

In an article by Elle, Tim Kearny (the co-owner of Brooklyn’s June Wine Bar) describes orange wine simply. Kearny says, “I usually tell people that orange wine is a white wine made like a red wine.” Red wine gets its vibrant color from leaving the grape skins on during the whole process, while white wine grapes have the skins removed right after pressing. According to Kearny, “When the green skins stay in contact with the juice, the wine ends up with a more orange hue to it.”

Elle interviewed Bianca Bosker, author of New York Times bestselling book Cork Dork. She mentions that orange wine isn’t for newbs to the wine scene and people seem to either love it or think it’s weird. Bosker says the drink is in a league of its own and the color can range from light orange to a cloudy, dark amber colored wine.

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What Should You Eat With Orange Wine?

When it comes to food pairings, there are no rules. New York City-based sommelier Joe Campanale tells Bon Appetit in an interview, “If you have a dish that you’d normally want to pair with a light red or a rich white, an orange wine would be a good in-between.” Since orange wine is on the bold side, you could pair it with bold foods like curry, all kinds of meats and spice-packed cuisines like Moroccan, Ethiopian, Korean or Japanese.

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