The growth of the orange wine market is showcasing just how interested people are in trying new and different wines.
Whether you like Greek wine, Italian wine, or French wine, there's going to be an orange wine that suits your tastes. Orange wine isn't new and trendy, it's been around for thousands of years.
If you've never tried orange wine, we're happy to explain what it is and why you're going to love it. As one of the top wine companies in the UK, we're uniquely qualified to guide you on your wine journey. Keep reading and you'll be ready to order your first bottle of orange wine.
How Orange Wine Is Made
Orange wine, amber wine, skin-contact wine - these are all different names for the same type of wine. It doesn't involve using oranges or orange grapes, but it does involve a slightly more discerning grape selection process by the winemaker.
What they'll be looking for is a grape with thick skins that have rich flavour and tannins. The best options are usually grapes like Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Rkatsiteli. They're harvested and the skins stay on during the maceration process.
Maceration is the fermenting of crushed grapes, juices, and skins together in large vessels. During this process, which is sometimes months long, the skins release their tannins and give the wine its orange appearance.
Once the maceration is complete, they press the solids and all the juice goes into a second vessel for fermentation. After fermentation comes the ageing process and bottling, which is done without any filtering in order to preserve the unique flavour.
History of Orange Wine
The term "orange wine" is only 15-20 years old, but the process is potentially around 6,000 years old. This ancient process involved fermenting crushed berries whole, then sealing them in clay vessels and burying those vessels underground.
In the past 20 years, there's been a renewed interest in ancient winemaking practices, which is how orange wines have come to the fore.
Orange Wine Characteristics
Because of the unique fermentation process and the types of grapes that are used, orange wine tends to have more body than other white wines. It includes more tannins from the grape skins, so it's often more bitter than sweet.
Common notes include orange peel, dried fruit, flowers, and hazelnuts. That said, the flavour really comes down to the type of grapes used and the choices the winemaker makes during the maceration and second fermentation periods.
If you enjoy wine with food, try pairing orange wine with spicy and savoury dishes. Charcuterie plates, kimchi, Indian food, and cheeses all work well with orange wine.
Buying Orange Wine
If you're intrigued by the prospect of tasting new wine, we can help. At Great Wines Direct, we have a massive inventory of orange wines. You can try French wines, Greek wine, or Italian wine made with this unique orange wine method.
Just head over to our site to view our vast wine selection and join our wine rewards program today.