What is Orange Wine?
Orange wine is better described as skin-contact white wine. It is made in a similar way to red wine. Instead of quickly squeezing out the juice, white grapes are fermented with the skins and seeds and left in contact for anything from a 1 day to many months. This creates an amber hued wine that has more tannins, dryness and complexity.
The technique of fermentation and ageing white wines on skins goes back around 8,000 years to Georgia, where the grape juice together with the skins were placed in large terracotta vessels called qvevris. These were buried under the ground and sealed shut with beeswax. Traditionally, these were called ‘amber’ wines, with the term 'orange wine' only being coined around 2004 by a British wine merchant.
What does orange wine taste like?
Depending on the grape varietal and the winemaking process, orange wines can taste fruity, floral, and zesty, or earthy, nutty, and tannic. Some of the common flavors and aromas found in orange wine are:
Apricot, peach, honey, ginger, orange peel, chamomile, jasmine, and baking spices.
The skin contact during fermentation can also give the wines some tannin grip, which can be very useful for food pairing. Orange wines go particularly well with root vegetables and can pair with meze food and spiced lamb dishes cooked with dried fruit.
Orange wines have a visual appeal and distinctive character that has captured the imagination of many wine lovers. Our curated collection features our favourite examples across a variety of producers to help you find the best orange wine for you.
If you'd like to buy orange wine as a gift, we have a three bottle and six bottle case or you can turn any bottle into a gift with our range of gift packaging.
Read more about orange wine over at our blog.