Orange Wine Time: Cheers to {Drinking} the Color of Fall

Orange wine? What is that??

Orange wine or amber wine are wines that are also referred to as skin contact wines. Huh? Ok… wine gets its color by combining the skins of the grapes with the juice during the maceration process. White wines are made by pressing the grapes and separating the juice before fermentation begins.

Orange wines are white wines made like red wines. Still with me? In other words, instead of draining the juice off and producing the wine with just the juice, Orange wines are made by keep the skins of the white wine grapes in contact with the juice for an extended period of time, days and even weeks. By allowing the juice to soak with the skins and stems and seeds it creates a wine with a wonderful color and a unique wine tasting experience.

Although these wines came blowing in as a fad less than a decade ago, some of the oldest wine production in the world can be traced to the “amber” wines made in the Republic of Georgia. Although the recent fad got its start in Northeastern Italy in Friuli, it has spread world-wide. 

If skin contact wines are white wines made like red wines, how do they taste? Well…different than the average white wine because of the added tannins infused into the wine by the extended skin contact. The aroma is bolder, and the taste is deeper and less “citrusy”. Orange wines don’t all taste alike since the underlying flavor is still derived from the white grapes used to produce the wine.

What food do you pair with these wines?

That is hard to say since the taste varies based on where the wines are produced, the grapes used, and the length of time the juice and the skins are macerated together. That being said, orange wines are generally some of the most cheese friendly of wines. They also pair well with spicier foods, such as Thai food. They are fun with chicken fajitas and, for those of us looking for a wine to go with that vinegar and pepper BBQ…this is your wine!

Featured Wine Guy Orange Wine Picks:

Aransat, Orange Wine 2018


Aransat is an orange wine from northeastern Italy. It is made with a traditional blend of the grapes from that region. The hue is amber-colored rose with copper tones. You'll taste notes of dried rose, raisins in spirit and aromatic herbs with spicy and balsamic details.


Lagar de Costa Albariño ’Rego do Sol’ 2018


 Rego do Sol is an orange wine from northwestern Spain. It is made with the popular Alberino grape. The nose is a complex sum of green and citric fruits, backed with hints of fennel and grass. The palate is clean and crisp, where the fruit character is joined by a marked mineral salinity.


Schedule a tasting to try before you buy!


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