In the enchanting world of wines, there is a unique category that often goes unnoticed yet holds an irresistible charm: orange wines. Far from being a new fad, these wines, with their rich history and complex flavour profiles, have been capturing hearts for centuries. Today, as we rediscover and embrace these treasures, orange wines are becoming an essential part of festive celebrations, bringing a touch of elegance and adventure to our tables.
What’s a ‘Orange’ Wine?
Orange wine, often referred to as skin-contact wine, is a type of wine made from white grape varieties. What sets it apart is the production process. In traditional white wine production, the skins are removed early. However, with orange wines, the skins remain in contact with the juice for days, weeks, or even months. This prolonged skin contact imparts a distinct orange hue, hence the name. It’s a natural wine production technique that predates modern winemaking, offering a bridge to the past and a nod to the authenticity of winemaking.
Fun Fact: The oldest known winery, discovered in Armenia, dates back to 4100 BCE, suggesting that skin-contact wines might have been among the earliest wines ever made.
The history of orange wine is deeply rooted in Eastern Europe, particularly in countries like Georgia, where traditional qvevri (large earthenware vessels) are used for fermentation and ageing. This oxidative winemaking process, where wine is exposed to air, yields wines with a rich tapestry of flavours, ranging from bold and tannic to surprisingly fresh and fruity.
Best Orange Wine Varieties
When exploring the best orange wine varieties, one must appreciate the diversity and uniqueness each type brings to the table. From the lush vineyards of Italy to the sun-kissed slopes of Spain, orange wines vary significantly in character.
The Ovella Negra from Penedes, Spain, is a wonderful introduction for those new to orange wines. Its juicy and approachable profile makes it a perfect start. Over in Italy, the Artigli – an Orange PetNat from Emilia-Romagna – is a standout. Made from 100% Malvasia Di Candia Aromatica, it explodes with exotic fruit aromas, and its lively, fresh palate with hints of citrus and aromatic herbs is captivating.
Another Spanish gem is the ‘I’m Natural Don’t Panic Orange #3‘ from Ribera De Duero. Born from the challenging 2021 harvest, this wine is a testament to resilience and the art of winemaking under adversity. Then, there’s the intriguing Paleokerisio from Loannina, Greece. A semi-sparkling, semi-dry wonder, it blends white and red varieties, offering a soft, drinkable experience with a balanced sweet sensation.
Orange Wine Flavors
Discussing orange wine flavours is like embarking on a sensory journey around the world. These wines challenge the conventional flavour profiles of red and white wines. The skin contact during fermentation not only imparts the characteristic orange hue but also contributes to a complex flavour profile.
Orange wines can exhibit a spectrum of flavours – from nutty and spicy to floral and fruity. Some may find notes of dried fruit, honey, and even a hint of earthiness. The oxidative winemaking process adds another layer, often introducing a bold, structured taste that can stand up to a range of foods – making them perfect for food pairing.
The versatility of orange wines makes them an exciting choice for festive occasions, especially Christmas when rich and varied flavours dominate the table. Whether you’re enjoying a hearty roast or a delicate seafood dish, there’s an orange wine that can elevate your meal. The Pure Wine Online Shop offers a curated selection, making it easier for enthusiasts to explore and enjoy these unique wines from the comfort of their homes.
Food Pairing with Orange Wine
The art of food pairing with orange wine is an adventurous journey in gastronomy. These wines, with their robust structure and diverse flavour profiles, complement a wide range of dishes. For festive meals, especially during Christmas, orange wines shine brightly. Their versatility pairs well with everything from roasted meats to spicy Asian cuisine. The key is to balance the intensity of the wine with the dish. A rule of thumb: the more robust the flavour of the wine, the richer the food.
Christmas Orange Wines Trend
The Christmas orange wines trend is a testament to their growing popularity. These wines, with their unique characteristics, have become a festive favourite. They offer a refreshing alternative to traditional reds and whites, adding a touch of uniqueness to holiday celebrations. The trend reflects a broader movement towards experimental and natural wines, as more consumers seek out unique and authentic wine experiences during the festive season.
When it comes to wine recommendations, there are a few orange wines that stand out for the festive season. The ‘Paleokerisio‘ from Ioannina, Greece, with its playful semi-sparkling nature, is perfect for toasting. ‘Ovella Negra‘ from Penedes, Spain, offers a juicy, approachable profile, ideal for those new to orange wines. ‘Artigli‘ from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, with its exotic fruit aromas and lively palate, is a crowd-pleaser.
Pure Wine Online Shop
For those looking to explore the world of orange wines, the Pure Wine Online Shop is an excellent resource. It offers a wide selection of orange wines, catering to both novices and connoisseurs. The convenience of online shopping, coupled with the extensive range available, makes it easier than ever to discover and enjoy these unique wines.
Orange wines, with their rich history, unique production methods, and diverse flavour profiles, offer a fascinating and enjoyable experience. They are not just wines; they are a celebration of winemaking tradition and innovation. As they gain popularity, especially during festive seasons like Christmas, they remind us of the joy and discovery in the world of wines. Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or new to the world of orange wines, these vibrant, flavour-packed wines are sure to add a touch of magic to your celebrations.
- What is orange wine? A wine made from white grapes with prolonged skin contact.
- Can orange wine pair with food? Yes, it pairs well with a wide range of dishes.
- Is orange wine popular at Christmas? Yes, it’s becoming a festive favourite.
- Where can I buy orange wines? Online shops like Pure Wine offer a great selection.
- Are orange wines suitable for beginners? Absolutely, they’re intriguing and approachable.