Skin contact wines come back on the tables with an English word: now they are called orange wines but are part of the Itlian winmaking tradition
An ancient and new style at the same time. The long contact with grape skins gives the wine unusual flavors and colors for a wine made from white grapes. In short, a classic vinification as used for red wines. The grape skins give off the substances contained in them, making the wine much more complex both on the nose and in the mouth.
It is an ancient peasant tradition which in Italy disappeared or almost with the advent of new winery machinery that allows winemakers to eliminate the skins immediately, a tradition that resists in Georgia, the cradle of wine, but also in the Italian countryside where the peasant wine never gave up keeping grapes on their skins for a long time. Friuli, Emilia, Veneto and Liguria are places where even today the white grapes vinified at home are traditionally macerated.
The result is a “food” wine that pairs well with the traditional dishes of its territory, but also with dishes of Japanese cooking and Asian in general. Orange wines also pair well with important fish dishes both raw and cooked, smoked fats, white yard meat, lamb or goat. Vegetarians can accompany orange wines with rich classic soups of the Mediterranean cuisine, or a little more elaborate dishes such as aubergines parmigiana or, coming back to the East, a tempura of mixed vegetables.
As with all wines, the service temperature is important: never serve cold but at temperatures around 15 °, maybe opening the bottle some time before putting it on the table.
Orange wines are wines suitable for medium long aging, especially those born of long macerations.
Are Orange Wines always natural wines? It is not a must, but it’s mostly true. Usually they are produced with clean, organic or biodynamic farming grapes, for the simple fact that everything on the skins is found in the wine.
Concluding: orange wines are healthier, they are still niche wines, but this niche is getting worldwide wider and wider, maybe they are a little complicated at the first approach, but these wines are so rich of aromas and flavors to be soon addictive.