Orange wine: On trend? Nah – it’s here to stay.
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Orange wine: On trend? Nah – it’s here to stay.

What is orange wine?

Orange wine seems to have become all the rage lately, you’re spotting them EVERYWHERE: they’re popping up at the SAQ, they’re all over social media, and now when you go to a restaurant, there is a new category on the wine list – orange wine!

So what IS orange wine?  First we first need to define what it isn’t:  It is not made from fermented oranges. It’s not a blend of rosé and white together, and it certainly is not a wine to stay away from. And here’s why:  orange wine simply refers to a wine making technique where white grapes are fermented on their skin.  And this maceration process can last anywhere between a few days to a few months. It’s the time that the juice sits on its skins and graces the wine with not only its colour, but also its flavour, aromatics,  texture, and tannins.

Generally speaking, orange wines will taste of citrus peel, apricot, sometimes marmalade – it’s robust, savoury, nutty, and smoky – and all the good ones will be balanced with a nice refreshing acidity.  These wines are popular because they’re incredibly food friendly, very versatile, and will cater to a number of different kinds of cuisine.  Make sure to serve it around 13 – 15 degrees.     

Orange wine is on trend because natural wines are also growing in popularity and many orange wines are natural wines.  Natural wines are basically organic or biodynamic wines that are made with minimal intervention, usually no filtering and with the smallest amount of sulphur added at bottling – if any.  

BUT I think more importantly, its popularity is simply because it  looks and tastes great! An orange wine!? How cool is that? I swear that if you bring this wine to your next dinner party with friends,  you’ll make a serious impression! People will LOVE it.

Dominio de Punctum 20000 Leguas 2019
SAQ: 13920771 $17.05

If you are not familiar with orange wine, or if you’re a newbie, this example from Spain Is a great introductory for skin contact wines, its organic, and its vegan. It will pair nicely with a wide range of food.  This wine has peach, hazelnut, apple and a little dried orange peel. It has a nice mouth feel, with an excellent acidity to support the fruit, with an appetizing salty finish.  At 17$, it’s the cheapest orange wine available at the SAQ.

Adega de Penalva Maceration pelliculaire Dã0 2019
SAQ: 13844317  $21.60

This wine is made from a co-op in the Dao of Portugal. In this wine, the grapes were macerated on its skin for ten days giving it that beautiful colour and flavours of oranges, dried apricot and nectarine, but it also has these lovely notes of salted pretzel with a smoky kind of nuance also. Its  complex, it’s a little funky but in a very good way

Vigneti Repetto Poliedro 2018
SAQ: 14488553  $35.25

This wine takes us to Italy and when I tasted this for the first time it went straight to my heart. Its beautiful, its elegant and it’s like a fine silk on your palate with so much delicate fruit and freshness. Repetto is a small family run winery, in the charming Tortona hills of the Piedmont and they make a range of stunning wines, and this is one of them.  The fruit is pristine and intense, citrus, apples, tangerine,  an abundance of white flowers with an excellent acidity with a perfect streak of salinity on the finish.

It’s a little over $30 and its worth it. It’s delicious! 

This article was in association with a segment on Global News Morning Montreal ,which you can see here or in the Videos tab.