RAISE A GLASS
I LIKE trying new things and I like to encourage you, my eager drinks lovers, to try new things too. So, when I discovered a supermarket had introduced a new... orange wine… I felt an urge (on your behalf, obviously) to try a sip or two.
Orange wine is quite a trendy thing to enjoy and until now I’ve not seen it in a High Street retailer. I was intrigued that Aldi had introduced one onto its shelves – but more of the wine itself later.
What is “orange wine”? What does it mean? You’ll know of white, pink, red and sparkling wines – but have you heard of an orange wine?
I don’t like to be too geeky but here we go:
Red wine gets its colour when the clear juices of black grapes remain in contact with the black grape skins throughout fermentation.
A rosé wine is pink because the juices are only in contact with the black grapes for a very short space of time. In wines such as blushingly pale Provence pinks it could be just a matter of hours. With me so far? Let’s think of white wines – they are white because the grape juices have had very very limited skin contact once the grapes have been harvested. Orange wine is so-named because the juice of white grapes is fermented at low temperatures with full skin contact and creates a wine with an amber colour. It’s the same technique as making a red wine (with skin contact during fermentation) but with white grapes. It’s an ancient, traditional way of making wine and is a style very much embraced by producers of natural wines. There. If you see an orange wine on your travels you now have some insider knowledge. Aldi’s Orange Natural Wine (£5.99, 13% abv) has been on the shelves in its most recent wine festival, and is suitable for vegans and has no added sugar. Wine producer Cramele Recas has fermented the grapes chardonnay (85%) and sauvignon blanc (15%) with naturally-occurring yeast and the wine has been aged in oak for three months. The nose has vanilla and lots of apricots, dried apricots too, like those nibbling packets you get. In the mouth, it has citrus and a decent flash of acidity. There’s not as much complexity as the nose but nonetheless its an interesting wine to try.
ALSO IN MY GLASS …
LAST night I was clinging on to the memory of summer with a glass of pink as I sat outside in the early evening sunshine. There was a definite autumn edge in the air. Lifting my spirits was a glass of wine from Rioja, a Spanish region which isn’t just about red wine but also tasty whites, and in this case, pinks too. Muga Rioja Rosado 2017 (RRP £7.99, Waitrose, 13.5% abv) is a blend of garnacha, viura and tempranillo and the salmoncoloured wine delivers aromas of raspberries, `strawberries, vanilla and citrus. In the mouth there are additional notes of tropical fruit and a creamy mouthfeel from the three months the finished wine was stirred with its lees. Jane is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers. Find her on social media and online as One Foot in the Grapes.