The Chronicle - - Food & Drink - WITH JANE CLARE

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.


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.

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