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Not red...not white...but orange wine?

Many have heard and the lucky ones have tasted orange wines. This is not a fad. Orange wine has been around for a very long time. But what exactly is orange wine? And well...why is it orange?

If you take a look at the process of making wine. White wines are white because the juice pressed from the grapes are instantly separated from the skins, seeds, and etc. Grape skins contain compounds classified as phenolics that alter the wine's color, taste, aroma, and taste. Now without getting too nerdy and scientific, orange-wine juices are allowed to macerate (the process of soaking crushed grapes, seeds, and stems in a wine must to extract color and aroma compounds) with the skins for weeks or even months.

In terms of taste, orange wines may have the mouthfeel of a red but the aromatics of a white. They are more fleshy on the palate which is great because they can pair well with bolder foods (i.e. curry or Korean kimchi).

There is certainly variation among orange wines just like reds and whites. As much as we know about the science behind wine-making, there is still so much to learn. Flavor molecules is one field that is still evolving. At the end of the day though, do you like orange wine!?!?

Go pick up a bottle at your local wine store and let me know! My favorites come from Northeast Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The producers I'd recommend trying if you can get your hands on them are Radikon and Gravner.

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