What on earth is orange wine???
Orange (aka amber/skin contact) wine is a kind of white wine, made with white grapes but treated as if they were being used to make red wine. The result is a wine which is orange in colour, highly delicious and a fantastic companion to food.
Here are our top picks for some skin contact fun. Buy them as a pack or as a single. Just make sure you open and share you’re experience.
“Make sure you’re sitting down when you taste your first orange wine.” – David Harvey
What's in the box?
Fitapreta A Laranja Mecanica 2020
One of the best Portuguese wineries we’ve come across recently. Forward thinking, fun and experimental with their methods but the wines are serious kit. Antonio Macanita the winemaker has won awards left right and centre, but what really makes him stand out is his pioneering approach to winemaking.
Very luscious and rich on the palate, some wonderful quince and candied orange peel coming through. A slightly serious style of orange, this will be great in colder weather and will stand up to Autumnal root vegetables with a little sweetness like squash, or maybe mushrooms. How about some roasted game meat? Or strong cheese and olives? The possibilities are endless, and this wine is far from boring…
Field Recordings Skin 2020
A sunny wine from the Central Coast of California, sure to brighten up your day. A perfect wine to try if you are an orange wine novice. These guys only give a small amount of skin contact so it’s not too in your face. It’s an interesting blend of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Verdelho and Riesling. The result is a spicy and energetic wine with some textured mandarin flavours to balance. Drink this with roasted duck, blue cheese or dried fruit.
Fabien Jouves Skin NV
Fabien Jouves is known for some world class classic styles of wine, but he also has a little side project, allowing him to experiment and have some fun with characterful and accessible treats. These wines are made with low intervention in ‘vin de soif’ style, meaning they are best drunk soon after release.
Skin Contact is a vibrant blend of only indigenous varietals from Cahors, France. The wine has three months of maceration on the skins then 6 months of ageing in oak and stainless steel. The nose is aromatic and inviting, and the palate has heaps of tropical fruit underpinned by enough tannic structure to balance.
Buccia Not Battles Vermentino di Sardegna 2021
Mick O’Connell was one of the first Irish Masters of Wine and has a brilliant wine shop/bar in Dublin called Neighbourhood Wine. Oh, and he makes a couple of delicious wines in Sardinia.
This is his skin contact Vermentino, and it’s smashing stuff. Pithy and expressive, with a lovely citrus tang. Wait for some sunshine, then give this a go with some cheese and cured meat.
Le Grappin Bourgogne Aligote Skin
A great creation from Emma and Andrew Nielsen; a lovely husband and wife team who make some great ‘vin de soif’ style wines. This is a lighter style of orange wine. It offers delicate orange blossom, citrus and a creamy mouthfeel, whilst still remaining fresh. Enjoy with smoked salmon, tuna or light cheeses.
Blankbottle Kortpad Kaaptoe
There is so much to say about Pieter Walser. A mad scientist in the best sense, he is incredibly creative, experimental and daring, and yet he never seems to put a foot wrong. His many many wines, some blends and some single varietals, are always delicious, well balanced and satisfying.
He doesn’t like to reveal the varietal on the label, but we can tell you it is 100% Fernão Pires from Darling in South Africa. A native variety to Portugal, the wine is given 3-4 Weeks of skin contact.
The wine is rich and opulent with spice and orange sultana. A pithy, grippy palate, good acidity and a lengthy finish. Try this with middle eastern style spiced lamb, or anything with warm spice, and you will not be disappointed.