Is That Supposed To Be That Color?

It’s not red, it’s not rose, it’s kinda white, but it’s...orange wine?

A better term is skin contact wine (“orange wine” as a term didn’t come around until 2004; also people do make wine from oranges instead of grapes, and it sounds delicious, but I digress). Skin contact wine is white wine’s answer to red wine. Confused yet? Oenology 101: Red wine grapes produce clear or very lightly tinted juice when they’re pressed, just like white wine grapes. The color in that Chianti or that Bordeaux that you love comes from the juice sitting in contact with the skins, seeds, and sometimes the stems while alcoholic fermentation takes place - this is also where some of the flavors, as well as textures and some tannins in a red wine come from.  When white wine is made in the skin contact style, if we follow the logic of red wine, it takes on more intensity from the skins, seeds, and stems. This yields a wine with not only more color, but more intense aromas and flavors, and also a more complex texture as well. Wine has been made for thousands of years this way in Georgia (not that Georgia, the country of Georgia), and more recently in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy), Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria. Typically, folks say the wines taste of jackfruit, brazil nuts, and bruised apple. It’s weightier than an average white wine, so it can stand up to bigger dishes and add another layer of complexity to your meal. It’s funky, it’s bizarre, it’s damn delicious.


Don't Chill That Chard!: Rethinking Wine Serving Temperatures

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