This article, written by John Brunton, appears on The Guardian.
The foodie traveller… drinks orange wine in Italy and Slovenia
You’re familiar with red, white and rosé, but did you know about orange wine? First-time drinkers of it often get a shock. First there’s the colour, that can range from deep amber through satsuma orange to dark pink. Don’t be surprised if it is cloudy: that is par for the course. Then there’s the taste. My first experience was of a sauvignon from Franco Terpin, an artisan winemaker in Friuli, north-east Italy. The process produces intense aromas and complex flavours, and I’d never have guessed it was made with this grape.
The difference in technique is quite simple. Normal white wine is made from the crushed juice of the grape, with the skins discarded. Orange winemakers retain the skins, as they would for red wine, and the fermenting grape juice is left to macerate with the skins, which add colour and tannin.
So don’t expect this to taste like any other white wine you have drunk. It is almost like a craft-brewed mead, as the tannins create a honey, apricot flavour – smoky, spicy, a little bitter. Although orange wines are all the rage in fashionable wine bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, it is a technique that was used in antiquity, especially in Georgia and Armenia, where it has never gone out of favour. Read more on The Guardian.