Orange wine isn’t made with oranges, nor does it really have anything to do with oranges. So why is it called “orange” wine?

Why is it called Orange Wine?

“It’s a type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice, creating a deep orange-hued finished product,” according to Wine Folly. The entire concept of this wine has to do with the colour, not the fruit.

To break it down a little bit further for you, let’s look at a few types of wine:

white wine = white grapes, skin removed

red wine = red grapes, skin on (this is what draws out the flavours and tannins you’ve commonly known to love in red wine)

rosé wine = red grapes, skin on for short period of time

orange wine = white grapes, skin on (when left long enough, the wine begins to get an amber-like hue)

What does it taste like?

Due to the nature of orange wine, the flavour is more robust and bold. A lot of times they can be more rich in aroma and can also taste a bit more sour like a beer compared to other traditional white wines. Here are some words that you may think of when consuming this type of wine: complex, heavy depth & sour. Flavours include: honey, jackfruit, wood varnish, juniper, linseed oil, sourdough etc. [from Wine Folly]

What food pairs well with it?

Since Orange Wine has big, bold flavour, it’s best to pair this wine with foods that follow suit. Think bold cheeses, lamb dishes, Chinese food, curry dishes and many varieties of fish.

Where can I get Orange Wine?

Here at Pelee Island Winery, our orange wine is our Gewürztraminer. It is a light sunshine lemon colour that has a spicy bouquet and fruity hints of mangoes and peaches. The white grapes are left for 10 days with the skins on which gives it the amber hue.