Oftentimes, people who do not have much knowledge when it comes to any kind of wine, from the Italian wines like Pinot Noir, the up and coming Cesanese and the charmingly golden Passiti, to International brands like the American Sokolin Latour wines, make mistakes in classifying the drink, judging it just by its color alone—not something that is entirely incorrect.
However, if you solely base the classification of different wines judging their color alone, it’s time to break the habit.
We’re going to take the “orange wine” as an example; people seem to either love or hate orange wine because of its orange hue, but this misconception and misjudgment comes from people not really knowing or understanding what kind of wine it is, and what sensory experience it’s able to give you.
How it’s made
If you are a newly recruited wine enthusiast, then this is the right article to understand and get to know one of the most peculiar wines out there, and dare I say one of the tastiest.
First of all, orange wine is not made with oranges, (who would have thought huh?). It is a type of white wine which is produced by leaving the skins and seeds of the grapes in contact with its juice, that is what creates the final result, a deep orange-hued wine that glistens beautifully when poured…and drank.
The winemaking process of Orange wine is completely natural, using little to no additives. In the making of this wine, white grapes are taken and mashed, the result of this mashing is later put into a large vessel, usually made of cement or ceramic. It is left to rest for a minimum of four days and sometimes over a year for the natural fermentation process to produce the final product.
The more time it stays in its container, the more the wine absorbs the particular flavour profiles it is so admired for.
Although the process is almost the same as how white wines are made, they taste very different from your typical white wines. Orange wines have an interesting and complex taste, tangy at first, it leaves the wine lover’s mouth with a pleasant nutty flavour, this is due to its oxidation.
What Does it taste like?
Orange wines are described as robust and bold, which is honeyed with aromas of jackfruit, brazil nut, hazelnut, apple, juniper, linseed oil, dried orange rind, sourdough, and wood.
On the palate, orange wines are dry, this because they have a high concentration of tannins, just like red wines. Orange wines are often so intense that you might want to make sure that you should grab a chair first before you tasting them.
Food to Pair with Orange Wine
Red wine for meat, white wine for fish, for sure orange wines will be easy to pair, right?
Unfortunately, they’re not. Why?
This is due to how orange wine flavors vary from vine to vine, the food pairing should be as dynamic, each bottle is different this is why they should be paired with different foods and dishes depending on the flavour profiles.
Some people would recommend salty, smokey food like cured meats and hard cheeses, some even defining this to be the “foolproof pairing”.
Meanwhile others suggest a pairing the bold with the even bolder, by pairing it with international style dishes like Moroccan, Ethiopian, Indian, and Korean ones. Beer-like orange wines, are commonly paired with fatty foods, like grilled steaks and meat dishes.
You’ve Natto be kidding me
You’d think that Natto, the popular Japanese fermented soy beans dish, which for most foreigners doesn’t go well on its own, imagine with wine. The highly nutritious and super healthy Japanese delicacy goes extremely well with orange wines, and to date is one of the most acclaimed (and quite frankly weird) pairings out there.
Why? Because both the fermented soybeans and orange wine share the nutty tartness and high phenolic content, making them a great combination to enjoy.
Also getting drunk while eating what is essentially “rotten soybeans” is always a plus, so we’ll take it!
Beauty is in the eyes of the wine-holder
Now if you do not want to keep it complicated, then head to a natural wine bar or place yourself in the hands of your trusted bartender or sommelier for recommendations. Or you know, be adventurous! Drink it on its own and have fun in pairing different foods of your choice with orange wine, to see what suits you best.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a freshman wine enthusiast, now that you have a gist and a bit more information about the strange world of orange wines. Spread the word and educate your friends on the amazing properties of a wine that’s really on a whole other level of tasty.