Is Orange Wine The New Rose?

Posted: Aug 06, 2019

Orange wine gets its golden color not from what it is made out of, but from how it is made. By leaving the skin on white grapes, wine makers have created a new flavor profile for wine lovers to enjoy. Some say orange wine is light and refreshing, without being overly fruity. Others argue the signature earthy taste of orange wine smells a bit too ... natural. This camp eschews the wine’s hipster funk, but it’s hard to look away from such a beautiful beverage. Is orange wine the next rosé?

Although not made from oranges, orange wine is the drink trend making a come-up on rooftops and summer barbecues everywhere. As one blogger puts it, orange wine is:

Somewhere between obscure pickle plates and pseudo-corrective Givenchy sneakers, a culinary movement has boldly fermented: Orange wine.
What makes orange wine different from others — apart from its sunset hue — is the winemaking technique itself. Real Simple explains:

To begin, orange wine is made by fermenting and aging the juice of white grapes with their skins....By comparison, white wine is made from white grapes after removing the skin and seeds.
Rosé — the other highly photogenic wine — is far too sweet more often than not. Orange wine offers a beautiful alternative that tastes rich, nutty and natural.

Few drinks can unseat a good rosé, and a musky, pee-colored wine is certainly not going to be the one that takes the throne.

Orange wine is mostly hype. Although some varieties may provide a nice contrast to the rest of your meal on Instagram, few among us choose to have a "barnyard-scented" beverage by our side. As the Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague puts it:

The result is an often-tannic wine that can range from a deep gold color to a rusty orange. Also known as skin-contact wines, these can be oxidative, too — that is, having been exposed to oxygen during the winemaking process, they taste and smell nutty, or like brown or bruised fruit, as Sherry can. None of these characteristics appeal to me.
Stick with your rosé and leave the cantaloupe-colored wine on the shelf.

By Jessie Blaeser
August 4, 2019

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