What is orange wine? The rosé of Fall 2017! Learn how orange wine is made and where to buy the tastiest bottles this fall.

By Blake Bakkila
June 12, 2017
Rob Lawson/Getty Images

Red, white, rosé...and orange? Skin-contact, or orange wine, is joining the classic wine trio. Real Simple talked to two wine experts about rosé’s richer-tasting cousin.

What Is Orange Wine?

But what exactly is orange wine—and how is orange wine made? It's made by fermenting and aging the juice of white grapes with their skins in a large clay vessel called a “qvevri” says Amanda Bowman, a sales associate at Chambers Street Wines in New York City. The “skin-contact,” Bowman says, gives the wine its color. So, it is probably more appropriate to call it a “style” of winemaking, as it got its name from the color, not the tangy fruit.

By comparison, white wine is made from white grapes after removing the skin and seeds. And red wine is made using a similar process to its caramel-colored counterpart, but with red or black grapes.

Andrew Harwood, founder of NYC Wine Company, tells Real Simple orange wine is having a moment now, but it’s truly a “throwback to how wine used to be made.” Harwood describes the flavor of orange wines as “richer, with a nuttiness and toastiness to them.”

Top Orange Wines to Buy for Fall 2017

There are four orange wine brands Harwood recommends for those looking to fall into the season with a glass of this trending wine.

Sicilian-based COS’s Pithos Bianco ($30.96) is nutty and has lots of mineral character. Channing Daughters is a vineyard located in the Hamptons, and their Ramato wine ($23.99) has hints of honey, apricots and spices. Pheasant’s Tears makes their Rkatsiteli wine ($17.99) in the country of Georgia. Its flavor has a “big, dense, fleshy style,” and has notes of honey, nuts and apple skin. And Monastero Suori Cistercensi’s Coenobium ($26.99) is made by nuns in Lazio, Italy. This wine has a more delicate style, complete with white flowers and orange marmalade.

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