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Orange Wine: What Is It & How To Store It

  • 3 min read

Orange wine - also known as Amber Wine and Skin-Contact Wine - has taken the world by storm over the last few years. It’s easy to see why, thanks to its unique flavour and its ability to offer a fun wine experience that your typical wine won’t achieve. Despite its passionate fanbase, it also has its detractors who think of it as an abomination of the wine process. After reading this blog, you’ll have to decide for yourself!

Keep reading on to find out all you need to know about Orange Wine.

How Is Orange Wine Made

Contrary to popular belief, Orange Wine isn’t made from oranges (it comes from grapes), nor is it exactly orange. In fact, its colour is closer to amber. Sure, it may sound confusing but let’s take a close look.

Orange Wines are made from white grapes. Conventional white wines are fermented without their skins, but in a similar process used on red wines, Orange Wine is made by leaving the skin intact, or with ‘skin contact’. Before fermentation, the white grapes are macerated along with the skins. Depending on its level of oxidisation, the liquid will take on an amber hue ranging from bright gold to almost brown. 

Key Characteristics of Orange Wine Are:

  • Orange or Amber Hue:Orange Wine’s hue well depends on several factors, including the ripeness of the grape used, the length of time spent on fermenting the grapes, as well as the vessel used to ferment the wine. 
  • Level of Tannins:although using white grapes, Orange Wine contains more tannins than most white wines. 
  • Fermentation with Skin:the white grapes in Orange wine are usually macerated with their skins, stems and seeds for 24 hours before the juice is extracted to begin the fermentation process. 

What Orange Wine Taste Like

It should be known that Orange Wines don’t have an orange flavour. Thanks to Orange Wines being fermented with parts of the grape that are often left out, they develop complex aromatics, textures and flavours. Orange Wines generally have a tannic sharpness, and can take on qualities of both red and white wines, but are generally fuller-bodied than most white wines. With that said, Orange Wines can vary quite a lot in flavour. Some wines might taste like a light red wine, whereas others might taste closer to a sour beer. 

Some of the factors that will affect an Orange Wine’s flavour include:

  • Grape varietal
  • Time spent on Skin Fermentation
  • Time
  • Tannins 
  • Preferences of the Wine Maker

Orange Wine Types

As you would have guessed, there are many types of Orange Wines. Although the process has been around for thousands of years, it is only in recent times that its popularity has really kicked off as wine lovers search for new and unique wine flavours. 

Here are a few recommendations to try this year:

  • Donkey & Goat 2018 Ramato Filigreen Farm Pinot Gris
  • Yetti & the Kokonut Fruit Basket Block
  • Airlie Bank Gris on Skins
  • Scorpo Bestia Pinot Grigio on Skins 2017
  • Amber Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2017 Heinrich Graue Freyheit
  • 2019 Domaine des Mathouans Mine de Rien

Best Orange Wine Pairings

Orange Wine is a versatile wine that sits comfortably between red wine and white which. As a result, you can pair it with a wide array of palettes that typically go well with both reds and whites including fish and red meat. We recommend experimenting with Orange Wine because you’ll be surprised at how well it pairs with some unexpected dishes. 

With that said, here are some classic Orange Wine Pairings for you to try out: 

  • All kinds of cheese
  • Antipasto
  • Spicy foods like kimchi and Asian cuisine
  • Heart vegetables like mushrooms and squash
  • Red meats such as lamb, pork, fried chicken and steak
  • Seafood
  • All kinds of fish
  • Grains and nuts such as walnuts, couscous and farro
  • Tahini
  • Dishes full of roast vegetables

How to Store Orange Wine

Luckily, the way to effectively store Orange Wine isn’t much different to other high-quality storage methods. You want to keep your wine cool, still and in a dark place. 

We recommend using high-quality wine racks which reliably store your wine while acting as a stylish feature to your home or business. Whether you want aclassic wine rack for a large collection or amodular wine rack for something smaller, you can’t go wrong with Wine Stash’s range of reliable, hand-assembled wine racks. If you’re looking for something unique, consider abespoke range of wine racks and accessories. 

If you want even more control, we recommend investing in a wine fridge (such asLiebherr Wine Storage Cabinets) which allows you to achieve the perfect conditions for wine storage, including temperature, lighting and more.  

Check out Wine Stash's Online Wine Rack Store today to invest in your dream wine collection.

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