Picture the scene. It’s a long, hot summer day (we’re being optimistic here) and you’re standing at the bar thinking about what to order before you go and sit in the sun-soaked beer garden. Prosecco? Rosé? White wine spritzer?
How about an orange wine? Yep, this newbie on the vino block is set to be the drink of summer 2016, but what exactly is it? Well it’s not made from oranges for starters.The name comes from the colour rather than the contents, and it is basically white wine made using the same principles and methods as red. The grape skins are left on, producing tannins and leaving the wine spicier, herbier and drier than most.
Orange wine is currently only made by a few small producers, making it slightly more spenny than you’re average bottle of vino, but it’s taking the restaurant scene – and our Instagram feed – by storm. According to Decanter, Orange wines are being described by some as the most characterful, thrilling and food-friendly styles on our shelves today, with their deep hues, intense aromas and complex flavours. The term ‘orange wine’ was coined in 2004 by David Harvey of UK wine importer Raeburn Fine Wines, while working in Frank Cornelissen’s cellar in Sicily’s Etna region. Harvey explains: ‘I didn’t set out to invent a word, I just used it naturally and it stuck.’
English wine maker Chapel Down is backing the orange wine movement after launching England’s first orange wine from their Kent vineyard last year, and chef Yotam Ottolenghi sells a range on his site, but it’ll be a while before we see mass-produced cheaper options hitting the shelves. If you fancy splashing out on a bottle for your summer soirees, check out Decanter’s Top 24. Cheers!