WAITER, I’D LIKE A GLASS OF ORANGE WINE
When it comes to color, wine is pretty much cut and dry: red, white or pink (ok, vinho verde is a category but it’s a small one). But there’s another category being embraced by natural wine aficionados: “orange” wines. No, they’re not made from oranges but are actually white wines made the way red wines are, by letting the crushed juice sit on the grape skins for a period of time to pick up tannin, weight and extra flavors. It’s essentially the opposite of how a rosé is made. The resulting rusty, copper and bright orange tones are imparted to the white wine from the colored skins. Because of the juice’s extra prolonged contact with skin, the deep pigment, tannins and astringency (red wine characteristics) tend to define the autumn-hued wine. Rare and somewhat pricey, the wines are becoming trendy with experts but have been slower to catch on in the mainstream. While the style may be new to many, orange wines have actually been around centuries and are traditionally made using artisanal methods.