Curious About Orange Wine? Here's Everything You Need to Know
There's red, white, and rosé wines, but have you heard about orange wine? Orange wine involves a very specific process of winemaking that involves fermenting the juice, skins, and seeds of white wine grapes together in a cement or ceramic vessel for up to a year. Due to the oxidation and naturally occurring fermentation, the resulting wine takes on a bright orange hue, a cloudy appearance, and a tart, sour flavor (sometimes slightly effervescent, like beer).
A British wine importer named David Harvey (from Raeburn Fine Wines) came up with the English term, but this style of winemaking dates back to more than 5,000 years ago in what is today the nation of Georgia. Nowadays, orange wine is commonly made in Italy (called ramato, which means "auburn" in Italian), but nearly every winemaking region of the world is making orange wine, including in Slovenia, the United States, Australia, France, and South Africa.
My first experience with sour wine was at a restaurant in Los Angeles a few years ago. To me, the wine tasted like a sour beer. The tannic bitterness shocked my taste buds, making it great for slow sipping. Plus, it's a delightful palate cleanser thanks to the slightly foamy consistency. If you like kombucha or fermented foods (like sauerkraut), give it a try!