Orange Wine Time

Fall is upon us—the air is crisp, Halloween décor is invading stores, and every basic bitch is indulging in pumpkin spice whatever (no dis, I’m basic sometimes). For my northeast peeps, who are turning in rosés for autumnal reds, I’ve got something seasonally festive to match your #FallVibesOotd—orange wine. You heard right, and it’s not made from Florida oranges.

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Orange wine is a colloquial, and trendy, term for white wines that are made with skin contact, meaning they are made like red wines with the grape skins present during fermentation. The skin, which isn’t normally left on during fermentation for white wine, gives these “orange” wines their amber hue. The deepness in orange color depends on how long the juice ferments with the skins—which can be hours to weeks to months. The skins also give these white wines a different flavor profile. The longer the skin-contact, the bolder the wine.

I, honestly, had no clue what orange wine was until I was looking at upcoming wine holidays (cuz who doesn’t like to celebrate) and found out National Orange Wine Day was happening on October 6. For the occasion, I am opening up two bottles of orange wine—both found at Wine by the Bay. I actually had a lot of trouble finding orange wine in South Florida, but it was well worth it when I did.

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The first bottle was a 2007 Bastianich Friulano. Located in the Colli Orientali del Friuli region of Italy, the Bastianich winery was founded in 1997. The Bastianich company, founded in 1997, consists of 40 hectares of vineyards. All the vineyards are located on the Colli Orientali del Friuli, in two distinct areas in the Doc area. This bottle is made of 100% Friulano from 70-year-old vines.

The wine was on the lighter side of the orange spectrum, very much a deep gold/light amber tone. There were little flakes of tartrate crystals on the cork and in my glass. It was very strong on the nose, with floral notes of acacia and pear, and had long legs. I would say it was medium dry with nice acidity and high alcohol (it was, after all, 15%). It had notes of honeysuckle, melon, and stone fruit, overripe fruit in general, with some tannins and minerality to it. It had a nice long finish. I snuck in some bites of Manchego while I was waiting for dinner and then I got notes of herbs and yellow cherry pit (as weird and wacky as that sounds). It was definitely one of the most interesting tasting whites I’ve had in a while! I’m curious to see what it will taste like tonight, tomorrow, etc. It was $31 at Wine by the Bay. Owner Stefano Campanini was so informative and full of passion about the wine.

I’m excited to open up the next orange bottle!

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