Orange wines seem to be popping up all over my Instagram feed, in some of my favorite wine bars and in the stores! What are orange wines? They are not wines made from oranges, as you might guess. They are a style of wine where the white grape is fermented with the skins, like how red wine is made. This technique is intended to produce fuller bodied, more tannic wines from white grapes.
I took a class on orange wines several years ago, and was not impressed. While they were beautiful to look at, they were bitter and lacked any kind of real character. However, it seems the wine making process on these orange wines has gotten better, because suddenly I (and everyone else, it seems) have found a couple of orange wines I like.
Valdadage, Veneto, Italy
Cold mascerated, soft pressed
Flirty in nature, this wine demonstrates its desire to please with its gorgeous copper color. It greets with a bouquet of lilacs and roses. In the first taste, the flowers are still there, but then there is some funky fruit – overripe apricots and pears, with bright acid and an unconventional thin, but silky mouth feel. Light tannins give over to a metalic finish, leaving a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.