The last few years, experts have had us saying “yes way” to rose, sipping natural wines with a vengeance, and — around here — experiencing a delightful resurgence of local pours. But the latest trend on oenophiles’ lips? Well, it’s orange.
Orange wine is slated to be the big drink in 2017, but what exactly is it?
According to Debbie Gioquindo, CSW, WLS, a.k.a. the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, orange wine is white wine that’s aged as if it’s a red. “Usually, white wine grapes are immediately de-stemmed, crushed, and sent through the next stages [like fermentation],” Gioquindo says. But in this case, “the grapes sit on their skins, causing them to extract color and gain tannins from the seeds.” That’s what makes it orange.
These vintages will still have the flavors of the grapes they’re created with, whether those are fruity, sour, sweet, or what-have-you, but Gioquindo notes, it’s a bit different. “ It may be a bit more yeasty, because of the fermentation process it undergoes. Sometimes people even think it’s gone bad or oxidized because it can have a nuttier taste to it.”
Brunette in Kingston is one locale serving the sense-beguiling stuff. “We always have at least one orange wine on the glass list,” says Tracy Kennard, who co-owns the wine bar. “New customers often come in asking for orange wine — even before they open the menu — so it’s safe to say it’s one of the most commented and questioned about items (well, it might be a toss-up between that, or the fact that we have a hot dog on our menu).”
Orange pours have existed for ages. “Often at least one we offer is Georgian, [who] have been making wine in low-intervention, natural methods for thousands of years, so it makes sense to feature their wines whenever we can,” tells Kennard.
So what’s the cause for all the recent hubbub? “I think in this day and age, if people try something different, and like it, word spreads,” Gioquindo theorizes, “Whatever the reason, it’s definitely worth opening your palate for.”
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