Orange Natural Wines
All Things Amber
Orange wines, also known as amber wines, or skin contact white wines, is a style of wine in which you allow white wine grapes to ferment with their skins and seeds. This can be days, weeks, or even years in some cases! Without this added time on the skins, you just have a standard white wine. The skin and seeds of the grapes are what gives it the orange hue, and provides a very interesting flavor profile as well! Below you can see our selection of orange wines and more info on what they are.
Styles of Orange Wine
These wines are white wines, made in the style of red wines. This means that instead of pressing off the juice without any contact with the skin, the wines macerate on the white grape skins, sometimes giving the wine an orageish hue. Some may look just like a white wine but you can count on it having a bit more texture because of the skin contact. If you can see the color of the wine you can generally tell if it is a light, medium, or bold orange wine, but don’t always let the color fool you! If you want to ensure what kind of orange wine it is ask things like:
1. How much skin contact did this wine have? (the longer, the heavier it may be)
2. What is the vintage (the older it is the richer it will likely be)
3. Did it have contact with oak or flor
In a great store or restaurant they will also be able to just tell you if it is light or not, so if that seems like an intimidating conversation, don’t fret!
Pairing Orange Wines
When pairing these styles of wines the things you should remember are:
1. Not all pairings work for all three types of orange wines, but across the board they all have similar characteristics.
2. Don’t just think of the foods, remember sauces and sides! It can change the game of what you are pairing.
3. Always remember that pairings are about YOUR tastes and not just what typically is supposed to work for the wine and food.
Below you’ll find our cheat sheet of different foods and flavors that we recommend for each kind.
Symbol Pairing Type
x = Not a Great Pairing
o = Decent Pairing
O = Great Pairing
Download our Orange Wine Pairing Guide
Click below to download all our recommended pairings for natural wines to have on hand next time you're cooking!
Orange Wine Resources
All our current publication discussing orange natural wines.
Curious about the difference between orange wines and rose? Check out our blog
Want to read more about orange wine? Check out our natural wine reading list.
Want to find restaurants that serve natural wine near you? Check out our where to find guide: