If you are interested in having an awkward conversation with the staff at your local wine store, ask them if they carry any orange wines. I had this experience several times in the past week as I searched high and low for an orange wine in the Atlanta area.
I recently read a few articles about orange wine and became very intrigued. Orange wine is not made from oranges (this was the first question the wine store people asked). This wine is a white wine made in a different style than your typical white. The juice is fermented with the skins (and sometimes the stems) similar to how red wine is made. As a result, you get a richer, more tannic wine that is orange colored.
I finally found one and have been giddy with anticipation. I friggin LOVE THIS WINE! Sorry riesling, you are just going to have to wait to get on the list of my wine loves, because this wine is right up my alley. Bone dry, decadent, full of layers of flavor from stone fruits to spice. Now, I can’t make generalizations about all orange wines since I have tried one only one, but so far so good.
While this wine is made from Pinot Grigio in the Fruili region of Italy, this wine is unlike other wine I have ever tried from this varietal. I would imagine the Italian Wine Geek would get excited about a wine like this because it is unique and made by someone challenging convention.
In my opinion, this wine pairs nicely with rich foods that you would traditionally pair with full bodied white wines; salmon and creamy cheeses (such as brie), which I personally love and would eat everyday if I had the metabolism of a three year old.
These wines are hard to find but go out and have an adventure. Ask your local wine shop if they carry any orange wines and be a part of the awkward conversation that ensues.