Whether a teenager is explaining to you that orange wine isn’t actually made from oranges or a bartender is delivering his nightly diatribe on the nuances of skin contact and why it is sLiGhTlY mOrE tAnNiC than white wine, drinking orange wine (aka skin-contact wine) is always a fun experience! But how can I tell you more about this beloved style of vino without becoming a pedantic asshole who constantly demonstrates that he’s on a first-name basis (or at least thinks he is) with some of his fave winemakers? Easy: I’ll just let popular California-based producers Tinto Amorio talk about their orange wine. “We hand-picked organic gewürztraminer in Paso Robles and scooted it to Healdsburg,” they explain on their website. “Our seven-day skin-contact Monje had a 7% zinfandel co-ferment and was coarse filtered, and 24-day skin-contact Bheeyo had a 5% zinfandel co-ferment and was also coarse filtered.” Word!
OK, so what does all this mean? In order to answer that, I need to morph into meta-wine-guy-mode in order to mansplain the wine terms we just heard from a different wine person. Basically, Tinto Amorio makes two great orange wines—Monje and Bheeyo—which means that they take white wine grapes, and instead of pressing out the juice and fermenting that straight away, they let the juice sit with the skins for a bit, to give the wine a richer flavor and fuller structure (and, you know, make it look orange). Both of the wines use predominantly gewürztraminer grapes from Paso Robles [creepily nods like Jack Nicholson in Anger Management] and a little bit of zinfandel, creating a sort of Frankenstein blend of tasty flavors that go together. BTW, not sure whether you have read the book (or even knew there was a book), but Frankenstein was the dude, not the monster.
Wow, now I am a natural wine expert, you’re probably thinking. How can I put this knowledge into use and dunk on everyone I meet? Well, sorry to correct you, but wine isn’t about impressing people; it’s about enjoying high-quality artisan beverages and getting drunk.
In any case, you can start out by ordering Tinto Amorio’s orange wine sampler, which comes with two bottles of wine, i.e. [checks math] one bottle of Monje and one of Bheeyo. If you get six or more, you get free shipping. Whether you’re trying to nurture your love of orange wine, get a friend a super flavorful gift, or stock up on some tasty bottles that will let you explain what orange wine is to your parents and guests over the holidays, go forth and get some tight “juice” (that’s what real wine lovers call it) sent right to your doorstep.
Check out Tinto Amorio’s orange wine sampler here.
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