What is Orange Wine?

Orange wine is here to stay! You can’t stop the motion of the ocean or the palates of the wine-drinking public, but then again, why would you want to? So what is orange wine you ask? 
fresh oranges growing in tree


Everything you need to know about Orange Wine

Orange wine is here to stay! You can’t stop the motion of the ocean or the palates of the wine-drinking public, but then again, why would you want to? For those already on the bandwagon, we imagine you’ll know that Cult winery Unico Zelo’s Esoterico is one of the most distinctive and delicious orange wines on the market. For those thinking; ‘Orange wine? Is that made from oranges?’ Let us elaborate.


No, it’s not made from oranges, much in the same way that Lambrusco is not made from lambs. Nor is it from the wine-growing region of Orange, NSW. Rather, it is a white wine made in the same way that red wine is, that is, extended extraction of colour, flavour and texture from the skins of the grapes, resulting in a gorgeous amber, or ‘orange’ hue. Never tried it? Unico Zelo is the place to start your orange wine journey.


What does Orange Wine taste like?

It's an orange wine so the juice spends a reasonable amount of time in contact with the skins, giving it its orange hue. It's also more aromatic and textural as a result of this skin contact. The assortment of varieties used is very aromatic and tropical with a beautiful viscosity to them, which balances the other textural elements.


How is Orange Wine made?

According to winemakers from Unico Zelo:
"Crafting a pinpoint precise, squeaky clean wine is one of the most boring things we could possibly think of. We prefer embracing your inner creativity and searching for more radical experiences. This has become one of our most cult-followed wines since we began. It's not exactly white wine, nor red - many call it Amber wine...but we just call it Esoterico. We make no additions of any kind - save for sulphur when we bottle the wine. There is no fining or filtration involved, with the wine allowed to clarify by gravity alone - resulting in a slight haze and sediment. This is one of the most enjoyable wines to craft, as there was no preconceived idea of what it must taste like - the chief driver is pure drinkability - a 'scrumptious' quality - mouthwatering acidity and 'say hello!' tannins. It's a Bohemian at heart."

Try the orange wine trend for yourself with these other orange wine alternatives:

2019 Valli Vineyards "The Real McCoy" Orange Wine
2020 Domaine de Brin Vdf Mauzac ‘Maceration’ Orange Wine

What Food Pairs with Orange Wines?

This wine pairs well with equally bold flavours such as Indian curries and African dishes from Morocco and Ethiopia. Due to the high levels of tannins and nutty tartness, orange wines also pair nicely with a wide variety of meats, ranging from beef to fish.

Where Does it Come From?

The origins of orange wine date back many years ago to the regions of what is now known as the county of Georgia. In this area, wines were fermented inside a qvevri, which is a large terracotta urn that was traditionally used for ageing wines. Orange wines are still far and few, however, due to their growing popularity, you will start to see more and more countries interested in this winemaking style.  

What is the Orange Wine Alcohol Content?

Orange wine may be rich in flavour but you'll be surprised to know that some have as little as 10% alcohol which makes it a perfect companion for dinner parties. Orange wines are well-balanced and low in alcohol, which is odd to have both hand in hand. Traditionally, light wines are very weak in flavour and you may find that this wine does not fit this stereotype at all.