Our new (not-so-new) thing is orange wine. Orange wines “are white wines that are made like reds: The juice stands on the skins, seeds and stems for weeks, or even months, so the wine picks up a golden or orangey-pink hue and some serious tannins,” sums up the expert palates at Food & Wine.
The New York Times adds that while “producers like Cornelissen, Radikon, Vodopivec and quite a few others…may share a particular production technique, that is all they share. They are made from many different grapes, and while the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy may be the center of production, they also come from other parts of Italy and Sicily, from Slovenia and Croatia, from France, and from California.”
Because of orange wines’ diversity, they are hard to characterize. They are complex. So food pairings should remain simple.
“Orange wines fill in the gaps when pairing, because you get the acidity of a white and the tannins of a red,” says Jared Brandt of Donkey & Goat winery in Berkeley, California in the aforementioned Food & Wine piece.
“Last fall, he and his wife, Tracey, released a cloudy orange wine: a floral, spicy Roussanne. ‘We recently had a tofu dish that a red wine would have obliterated, and a rich lamb dish that would have overwhelmed a white,’ Brandt says. He opted to pair both with an orange wine from Friuli’s Stanko Radikon, one of Gravner’s acolytes, and it worked brilliantly.”
Orange wine is just our speed. Works as well with grilled cheese as it does with seared tuna.