Forget the Netflix series – it’s all about the amber hued wines finding their way into your glass.
When we think of wine, we often only see it as red, white or the blush colour characteristic of rosé. But what about the stunning amber hued blends that are increasingly making their way onto wine lists and into bottle shops? Orange wine, which is occasionally referred to as skin contact wine, is fast becoming a feature of Australian viticulture.
What is it?
Orange wine is essentially white wine that has been vinified like red wine. White wine grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Moscato Giallo are typically used to create orange wine, due to their natural aromatics, texture and complexity.
Instead of removing the skins after the grapes have been pressed, which is standard in white winemaking, the skins are left on for a period of time that ranges from anywhere between a few days or weeks to years. It is this extended skin maceration that creates the stunning amber hue characteristic of orange wine, and the flavour profile that is reminiscent of red wine.
What does it taste like?
While the flavour of orange wine is dependent on the grape varietal, site and manipulation, orange wine leans more towards red wine than its white counterparts. Common aromas include hazelnut, brazil nut, stone fruit, apple, sourdough, honey and tea, which give this type of wine a savoury and sour taste that varies from standard white wines. This is all due to that extensive maceration process, which allows for the natural impartation of spicy aromatics and tannins.
Where can I find it?
Orange winemakers can be found primarily in Europe and the Caucasus, with Italy, Slovenia and Georgia being among some of the world’s most notable producers of amber hued wine. However, there is a growing brigade of orange winemakers on our own doorstep, with a crop of vineyards specialising in orange wine emerging around Australia. Wineries to sample include BK Wines, Born and Raised Wines, Lucy Margaux Vineyards and Patrick Sullivan’s “Breakfast” variety which is made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
Orange may be the new black when it comes to wine, but not when it comes to wine accessories. Grand Cru’s BLACK range features a range of sleek and chic storage solutions that combine innovative function with aesthetic value. Thanks to Coravin, you can equip yourself with an elegant Coravin System that gives you the freedom to pour yourself a glass of any wine without pulling the cork – this means your last glass will taste just as good as the first.