The Exciting New World of Orange Wines
If you’re looking to add something new and extraordinary to your product lineup, it may be time to take a closer look at orange wine, a relative newcomer on the wine scene and one that’s making a big splash. Orange wine is a bit of a misnomer; it is not made with oranges, nor it is anything like a mimosa cocktail. Rather, the “orange” in its name refers to its color. It is also sometimes referred to as “Ramato.” This word means “auburn” in Italian and references Italian Pinot Grigio, which is made in the same style as orange wine.
Orange wine is made by mashing white grapes and placing them in a large ceramic or cement vessel. The grapes are left to ferment over a matter of days, weeks, or months with the seeds and skins still attached. This process is very natural and requires few to no additives – not even yeast, in some cases. Because of the process orange wines go through, they tend to taste very different from conventional white wines.
When it comes to the flavor of orange wine, many will note more sourness and nuttiness than in most white wines; this is due to the oxidation. Orange wines have been described as bold and robust, featuring the honeyed aromas of brazil nut, hazelnut, wood varnish, apple, juniper, linseed oil, dried orange rind, sourdough, and jackfruit–a fleshy tropical fruit that’s been making waves of its own in the vegan community. Orange wines tend to be a little on the dry side on the palate and may even be reminiscent of fruit beers.
Orange wines pair very well with foods that keep up with their boldness, such as Moroccan or Ethiopian cuisine, and curry dishes. It’s also a great partner with the fermented soybeans found in traditional Japanese fare and Korean fermented kimchi. Because of the tannin and bitterness (phenolic content), orange wines pair well with a range of meats from fish to beef.
If you are looking to create a new signature wine or even a small-production wine, orange is a fantastic avenue to explore. In some regions, winemakers are also starting to vinify some nearly-extinct grape varieties as they experiment with this new trend. If your customers love wine and expect the best from you, orange wine presents a whole world of winemaking possibilities. Feel free to play around with flavors and techniques to create some fantastic new orange wines for your patrons to enjoy.