The New Yorker on Orange Wines

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Glen Gold
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The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#1 Post by Glen Gold » September 8th, 2019, 12:51 pm

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annal ... n-pleasure

If you hit a paywall, this might give you a hint of the tasting notes: "A wine with a finish like sucking on a grapefruit rind is not a wine to drink for enjoyment. It is a wine to suffer through—the suffering is proof that the drink is morally improving—and then to enjoy talking about. The talking is the proof of the drinker’s good taste."

Also: subscribe to the New Yorker. The cartoons are great.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#2 Post by GregT » September 8th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Wow.

I like this Troy Patterson! He's good.

Thanks for the new discovery (for me) Glen! Great read.

"While I waited for the wine’s acrid smack to wear off, I meditated on how this chic but peculiar elixir reflected the terroir of the urban social landscape.

Having now infiltrated the cellars of fashionable new restaurants and the home-entertaining arsenals of people who don’t consciously define themselves as “foodies,” orange wine has moved from a novelty act to a regular character in a particular social niche.

. . .

Its color ranges from an amber as clear as the peal of a bell to the bold gold of a questionable urine specimen. I looked askance at an Austrian blend resembling a poorly stirred portion of Tang."
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#3 Post by Anton D » September 8th, 2019, 1:09 pm

It sounds like he tasted all those wines under conditions where light was present.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#4 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » September 8th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Can’t wait to read the article from that guy when he discovers scotch. I thought it tasted like vomit too. When I was 13.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#5 Post by Wes Barton » September 8th, 2019, 3:50 pm

The second paragraph starts: "Each bottle of wine on offer was a natural wine..."

The vintage of the sparkling Greek wine he cited, his "favorite by far", is quite good. To me, it doesn't reach the ideal of what a skin contact wine can be. The rest of what he tasted range from extremely styled to amateurish to badly flawed, by his own description. Hardly a true representation of what this sort of wine can be...

So, imagine a clean, non-oxidative white that hasn't lost any of its wonderful aromatics, and is exactly your preferred ripeness level. Add in some complexity, added notes from compounds in the skin. Add in a level of tannin appropriate for that particular wine. That gives you a wine with more, no compromise.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#6 Post by larry schaffer » September 8th, 2019, 4:06 pm

Interesting article indeed - and funny at times. He obviously has some strong opinions about the category - and in some cases, I truly agree. I often find orange wines to speak more of the process than of the individual varieties - and that is 'challenging' to me. Have had some 'interesting' ones? Yep - but have they been 'enjoyable' rather than 'intellectual'? Not necessarily . . .

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#7 Post by Greg K » September 8th, 2019, 4:21 pm

This has provoked some interesting responses from people in the industry - Levi Dalton had a twitter thread about it that others have picked up on.

Personally it reminds me a lot of the discussions between my wine friends - they argue I drink boring wines, I argue I drink good wines. I’m the end, we’re both right.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#8 Post by CarterBenjamin » September 8th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Very, very entertaining read. Thanks for sharing.

I find orange wine can be compelling — sometimes poorly made, but almost always interesting. The pretension surrounding orange wine is not necessarily different than the pretension abounding in other wine fandoms.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#9 Post by Jason T » September 8th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Carter this isn't directed at you but I detect an awful lot of pretension from the 'non-natural wine camp' towards natural wines as well, as witnessed here. Yes, they can be poorly made. They can also be fantastic. For me they are almost always interesting. I've enjoyed most of them, and not just not just intellectually - they were just flat-out good wines.
Wes Barton wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 3:50 pm
The second paragraph starts: "Each bottle of wine on offer was a natural wine..."

The vintage of the sparkling Greek wine he cited, his "favorite by far", is quite good. To me, it doesn't reach the ideal of what a skin contact wine can be. The rest of what he tasted range from extremely styled to amateurish to badly flawed, by his own description. Hardly a true representation of what this sort of wine can be...

So, imagine a clean, non-oxidative white that hasn't lost any of its wonderful aromatics, and is exactly your preferred ripeness level. Add in some complexity, added notes from compounds in the skin. Add in a level of tannin appropriate for that particular wine. That gives you a wine with more, no compromise.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#10 Post by Wes Barton » September 8th, 2019, 5:52 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 4:06 pm
Interesting article indeed - and funny at times. He obviously has some strong opinions about the category - and in some cases, I truly agree. I often find orange wines to speak more of the process than of the individual varieties - and that is 'challenging' to me. Have had some 'interesting' ones? Yep - but have they been 'enjoyable' rather than 'intellectual'? Not necessarily . . .

Cheers.
I see the <ahem> piece about as fair as claiming all wines with oak show nauseating degrees of vanilla, caramel and dill, with brutal woody tannin.

That is, to say, oak is a tool in the craft of winemaking. So is skin contact. Just because some people do a very poor job with stem inclusion doesn't mean others don't make fantastic wc wines.

It does seem pretentious to subject a restaurant's customers to a list of solely one controversial niche style of wines. But, maybe it's a fit for their customers..? Bold choice backed by someone else's money.

Where's Otto? He should have some interesting points to add here. Plus, this is exactly why I'd prefer we only use the term "orange wines" to wines that are actually orange, as a sub-category of skin contact whites.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#11 Post by Wes Barton » September 8th, 2019, 6:06 pm

Jason T wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:40 pm
Carter this isn't directed at you but I detect an awful lot of pretension from the 'non-natural wine camp' towards natural wines as well, as witnessed here. Yes, they can be poorly made. They can also be fantastic. For me they are almost always interesting. I've enjoyed most of them, and not just not just intellectually - they were just flat-out good wines.
My point there was the author's premise (not mine) is natural wines are garbage. He's then claiming that all orange wines are natural, and so on.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#12 Post by Jason T » September 8th, 2019, 6:40 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 6:06 pm
Jason T wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:40 pm
Carter this isn't directed at you but I detect an awful lot of pretension from the 'non-natural wine camp' towards natural wines as well, as witnessed here. Yes, they can be poorly made. They can also be fantastic. For me they are almost always interesting. I've enjoyed most of them, and not just not just intellectually - they were just flat-out good wines.
My point there was the author's premise (not mine) is natural wines are garbage. He's then claiming that all orange wines are natural, and so on.
Hey Wes - apologies for not being more clear. My comment was absolutely not directed at you.

My frustration is that it seems like every time one of these articles is posted, there's a collection of folks who use it as an opportuntity to paint the entire 'category' (if it can be 'categorized') with a broad (negative) brush. It gets old.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#13 Post by GregT » September 8th, 2019, 7:01 pm

Wes - obviously I agree with you and it's not fair to paint with too broad a brush.

Usually.

But this guy was pretty funny. And that crowd he's talking about? He was spot on.

"This stuff pairs well with the conflated ethics and aesthetics of bien-pensant food culture. The intrinsic emphasis on abstruse methods of production and challenging nuances of terroir suits going fashions for the sustainable, the “authentic.” You get the sense, when gripped by the vinegar-ish bite of an extra-ripe wine, that it is ideally consumed at a reclaimed-wood table in the dining room of a Hudson Valley weekend home, while listening to a proud host holding forth on how best to decant it and describing its intricate flavors and idiosyncratic kinks with the haranguing passion of an indie-rock record collector."

He nailed it. And clearly he was exaggerating for effect. But my hunch is that he's probably a pretty fun guy to have some wine with and would be willing to try some good stuff.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#14 Post by Wes Barton » September 8th, 2019, 7:28 pm

I get the fun he was having, but his "natural writing" will leave the vast majority of the readers will come away with an ill-informed impression. A more interventionist editor could have helped craft a more balanced, easy to consume piece of writing that would retain the humor without the off-aromas.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#15 Post by Hart G » September 8th, 2019, 7:53 pm

Greg K wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 4:21 pm
This has provoked some interesting responses from people in the industry - Levi Dalton had a twitter thread about it that others have picked up on.

Personally it reminds me a lot of the discussions between my wine friends - they argue I drink boring wines, I argue I drink good wines. I’m the end, we’re both right.
Greg, there's nothing boring about Faurie Hermitage.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#16 Post by Greg K » September 8th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Hart G wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 7:53 pm
Greg K wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 4:21 pm
This has provoked some interesting responses from people in the industry - Levi Dalton had a twitter thread about it that others have picked up on.

Personally it reminds me a lot of the discussions between my wine friends - they argue I drink boring wines, I argue I drink good wines. I’m the end, we’re both right.
Greg, there's nothing boring about Faurie Hermitage.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#17 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 9th, 2019, 3:34 am

Wes Barton wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:52 pm
Where's Otto? He should have some interesting points to add here.
Travelling in Georgia, drinking orange wines - ranging from pale straw yellow to deep amber. [wink.gif]
Plus, this is exactly why I'd prefer we only use the term "orange wines" to wines that are actually orange, as a sub-category of skin contact whites.
Why then not call some white wines "green wines" and some "golden wines"? None of them are white, really.

I think red wines should have their own subcategories for black wines, purple wines and pale garnet wines as well. neener

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#18 Post by Markus S » September 9th, 2019, 5:12 am

Glen Gold wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 12:51 pm
If you hit a paywall, this might give you a hint of the tasting notes: "A wine with a finish like sucking on a grapefruit rind is not a wine to drink for enjoyment. It is a wine to suffer through—the suffering is proof that the drink is morally improving—and then to enjoy talking about. The talking is the proof of the drinker’s good taste."
...and ascribe it all to "phenolics"! [dash1.gif]
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#19 Post by Robert Dentice » September 9th, 2019, 9:09 am

If you ask me it is a pretty bad article despite his amusing writing style. Orange wines are actually my favorite category within the Natural genre. And yes I realize not all Orange wines are natural but I think it is safe to say most are. One issue I have is that he does not give enough examples of Orange wines he does not like so I have know reference points to try to understand his point.

As an aside I was at the 2009 Levi Dalton tasting, can't believe it was 10 years ago!

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#20 Post by Jay Miller » September 9th, 2019, 9:22 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:09 am
If you ask me it is a pretty bad article despite his amusing writing style. Orange wines are actually my favorite category within the Natural genre. And yes I realize not all Orange wines are natural but I think it is safe to say most are. One issue I have is that he does not give enough examples of Orange wines he does not like so I have know reference points to try to understand his point.

As an aside I was at the 2009 Levi Dalton tasting, can't believe it was 10 years ago!
That was a great tasting, but 10 years? I was practically young back then.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#21 Post by Hank Victor » September 9th, 2019, 10:57 am

I've only had a few orange wines. Some have been amazing and some have been pretty bad... But I have noticed even the orange wines that I like I would only limit myself to a glass. It reminded me the first time I had purchased a bottle of Saxum and opened it with some friends. It was good, and had its place and could be appreciated, but I could only have one glass.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#22 Post by Wes Barton » September 9th, 2019, 3:12 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:09 am
If you ask me it is a pretty bad article despite his amusing writing style. Orange wines are actually my favorite category within the Natural genre. And yes I realize not all Orange wines are natural but I think it is safe to say most are. One issue I have is that he does not give enough examples of Orange wines he does not like so I have know reference points to try to understand his point.
I get the impression he tasted one or two before going to that restaurant and trying a few.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#23 Post by Wes Barton » September 9th, 2019, 3:48 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 3:34 am
Wes Barton wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:52 pm
Where's Otto? He should have some interesting points to add here.
Travelling in Georgia, drinking orange wines - ranging from pale straw yellow to deep amber. [wink.gif]
Plus, this is exactly why I'd prefer we only use the term "orange wines" to wines that are actually orange, as a sub-category of skin contact whites.
Why then not call some white wines "green wines" and some "golden wines"? None of them are white, really.

I think red wines should have their own subcategories for black wines, purple wines and pale garnet wines as well. neener
Missing the point, of course, where the author here makes exactly the type of ignorant assumption about a broad category of wines, based on one sub-category.

Why then not call some <broad category of wines> <sub-category1> and some <sub-category2>? Well, we do. We have broad terms and more and more specific terms. We've eliminated confusion in some ways over the years, so "Chablis" can no longer be used as a generic term for cheap white wine, for example. I'm just arguing for clarity and against the sort of ignorance this author displays. And, once again, NONE of countries that traditionally makes these wines use the term "orange wine". That's a recently coined English language term. The translations I'm aware of are "amber wine". Why confuse people with yet another non-literal wine term so early in the game. Why not a more accurate and attractive term for the broad category, and use "orange wine" for the sub-category it literally describes?

Once again, when wine people here hear the term "orange wine" they think deeply colored and oxidative. That's where the term has its meaning here. It's sort of like you're telling me we should call all motor vehicles "trucks".
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#24 Post by GregT » September 9th, 2019, 8:28 pm

Lorrys Wes!

Stepping out of the wine world for a minute, it is true that the term is confusing.

My wife had no clue what we were talking about last week. She grew up in a wine drinking household and her parents had plenty of friends who knew a lot about wine, but she had never heard the term. I gave her the article. She laughed and said that now she'd never forget exactly what those wines were. Then she asked if the wines were really all that bad. I told her it's like everything else. If you find someone who knows what he's doing, the wines will be fine. And I reminded her that we've had a few recently.

Last week someone told me that she was in a wine store and asked about orange wines. The girl working there told her that she didn't think they had any wines made out of oranges, most of their wines were made from grapes.

That got me to wondering what an actual orange wine would taste like, and if you would leave the skins in contact with the juice or not.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#25 Post by Wes Barton » September 9th, 2019, 9:34 pm

GregT wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 8:28 pm
That got me to wondering what an actual orange wine would taste like, and if you would leave the skins in contact with the juice or not.
A friend has made a bunch of citrus wines, including with my fruit. Juice only, no rind. Meyer Lemon, Rangpur Mandarin, Blood Orange, Grapefruit, maybe others. The first two can be quite good. There's an issue with yeast and citric acid which sometimes happens, producing some VA, which he and many people don't mind. When that doesn't happen, they are very clean, pure expressions of the fruit.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#26 Post by Jim Cowan » September 9th, 2019, 9:45 pm

Orange wine is not necessarily oxidative or natural.
Lots of it “looks” oxidized and presents atypical for the variety. Since it is not the norm, one must expect abnormal.
But I love them, I make them and my wife and I drink them . . . often.
Amazingly good food wines.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#27 Post by bob parsons alberta » September 9th, 2019, 9:56 pm

The wines I have tried from Georgia had some noted tannins, found that of interest.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#28 Post by Jason T » September 10th, 2019, 12:13 am

Jim Cowan wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:45 pm
Amazingly good food wines.
That they are.

And I tend to like mature wines, because they often show more complexity than their younger counterparts. I’ve found orange wines, and some natural wines, to offer a lot of the complexity up front, without needing nearly as much age. So in that regard while many of these wines either can’t/shouldn’t be aged, or it’s a role of the dice, many don’t need it either.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#29 Post by GregT » September 10th, 2019, 12:50 am

Wes Barton wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:34 pm
GregT wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 8:28 pm
That got me to wondering what an actual orange wine would taste like, and if you would leave the skins in contact with the juice or not.
A friend has made a bunch of citrus wines, including with my fruit. Juice only, no rind. Meyer Lemon, Rangpur Mandarin, Blood Orange, Grapefruit, maybe others. The first two can be quite good. There's an issue with yeast and citric acid which sometimes happens, producing some VA, which he and many people don't mind. When that doesn't happen, they are very clean, pure expressions of the fruit.
Wow. My respect for you increases! I'd love to try one some day. [cheers.gif]
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#30 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 10th, 2019, 2:59 am

Wes Barton wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 3:48 pm
Once again, when wine people here hear the term "orange wine" they think deeply colored and oxidative. That's where the term has its meaning here. It's sort of like you're telling me we should call all motor vehicles "trucks".
Once again, I need to point out that that is a local thing. When I go around Europe, people know that "orange wine" and "skin contact white" are synonyms and +90% don't have anything to do with oxidation.

I understand perfectly your point and why you think it is necessary to use those terms locally to avoid confusion, but promoting the use of the term everywhere else feels rather unnecessary, since people tend to know what kinds of wines orange wines are, and if they don't, they don't automatically think they are either oxidative or made from oranges.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#31 Post by Markus S » September 10th, 2019, 5:00 am

Wes Barton wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:34 pm
GregT wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 8:28 pm
That got me to wondering what an actual orange wine would taste like, and if you would leave the skins in contact with the juice or not.
A friend has made a bunch of citrus wines, including with my fruit. Juice only, no rind. Meyer Lemon, Rangpur Mandarin, Blood Orange, Grapefruit, maybe others. The first two can be quite good. There's an issue with yeast and citric acid which sometimes happens, producing some VA, which he and many people don't mind. When that doesn't happen, they are very clean, pure expressions of the fruit.
So instead of red-red wine he makes orange-orange wine? How cool is that!
Like Greg, love to try them if I ever get the chance.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#32 Post by Steve Slatcher » September 10th, 2019, 5:09 am

Perhaps we could use the colour name that we all give to the third colour (not red or green) in traffic lights? ;)
Last edited by Steve Slatcher on September 10th, 2019, 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#33 Post by Adam Frisch » September 10th, 2019, 5:33 am

Hank Victor wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 10:57 am
I've only had a few orange wines. Some have been amazing and some have been pretty bad... But I have noticed even the orange wines that I like I would only limit myself to a glass. It reminded me the first time I had purchased a bottle of Saxum and opened it with some friends. It was good, and had its place and could be appreciated, but I could only have one glass.
Agreed, I find them too serious. I'll have one glass of it and I can find that interesting, but not really enjoyable for extended drinking.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#34 Post by Brady Daniels » September 10th, 2019, 8:57 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 5:33 am
Hank Victor wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 10:57 am
I've only had a few orange wines. Some have been amazing and some have been pretty bad... But I have noticed even the orange wines that I like I would only limit myself to a glass. It reminded me the first time I had purchased a bottle of Saxum and opened it with some friends. It was good, and had its place and could be appreciated, but I could only have one glass.
Agreed, I find them too serious. I'll have one glass of it and I can find that interesting, but not really enjoyable for extended drinking.
I don’t get this at all. We enjoy some orange wines without thinking about them too much, much as we do roses. Sure I’ve had orange wines that were tannic enough I’d think they were red if served truly blind. I’ve had others that made us argue oxidized versus oxidative. But most are just white wines that see a little skin contact and pick up a tiny bit of body, and maybe some complexity. Great for glugging on the porch, just as one would a rose.

Orange wines don’t have to be intellectually challenging to be good!
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#35 Post by Jay Miller » September 10th, 2019, 9:36 am

Brady Daniels wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 8:57 am
Adam Frisch wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 5:33 am
Hank Victor wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 10:57 am
I've only had a few orange wines. Some have been amazing and some have been pretty bad... But I have noticed even the orange wines that I like I would only limit myself to a glass. It reminded me the first time I had purchased a bottle of Saxum and opened it with some friends. It was good, and had its place and could be appreciated, but I could only have one glass.
Agreed, I find them too serious. I'll have one glass of it and I can find that interesting, but not really enjoyable for extended drinking.
I don’t get this at all. We enjoy some orange wines without thinking about them too much, much as we do roses. Sure I’ve had orange wines that were tannic enough I’d think they were red if served truly blind. I’ve had others that made us argue oxidized versus oxidative. But most are just white wines that see a little skin contact and pick up a tiny bit of body, and maybe some complexity. Great for glugging on the porch, just as one would a rose.

Orange wines don’t have to be intellectually challenging to be good!
I'm with Brady, orange wines have as large an array of styles as white or red. Though as I typed that I realize I don't think I've ever had an overoaked one, I suppose that style is probably antithetical to the philosophy of people likely to make orange wine. Or maybe I've just been lucky.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#36 Post by Adam Frisch » September 10th, 2019, 9:44 am

Admittedly, I've not had a ton of spectrum of orange wines. I was mainly talking about the Gravners and the Kabaj's etc. Even the SQN Viognier I tried was in this vein. I realize there is a whole spectrum here that I've probably missed. I myself made my amphorae Marsanne with 4 months of skin contact, and it never became as tannic or fruit-obscuring as the ones I mentioned. So it's very, very varietal and elevage specific as well.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#37 Post by Wes Barton » September 10th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 2:59 am
Wes Barton wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 3:48 pm
Once again, when wine people here hear the term "orange wine" they think deeply colored and oxidative. That's where the term has its meaning here. It's sort of like you're telling me we should call all motor vehicles "trucks".
Once again, I need to point out that that is a local thing. When I go around Europe, people know that "orange wine" and "skin contact white" are synonyms and +90% don't have anything to do with oxidation.

I understand perfectly your point and why you think it is necessary to use those terms locally to avoid confusion, but promoting the use of the term everywhere else feels rather unnecessary, since people tend to know what kinds of wines orange wines are, and if they don't, they don't automatically think they are either oxidative or made from oranges.
You pointed out in Finnish you have a different word for the fruit than the color. The traditional countries that make it use words in their languages that translate to amber, not orange. The term "orange" is only in English, correct? And recently coined. Did the producers all switch to using the English language term? Is there a single producer in the entire world that has the word "orange" on the label of a wine that isn't darkly hued?

Anyway, I regularly see slurs about orange wines now, just like we've been seeing that about natural wines for years, and organic wines since the really bad ones from the '70s masochistic suffering-for-the-planet health food movement.
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#38 Post by Steve Slatcher » September 10th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 9:44 am
Admittedly, I've not had a ton of spectrum of orange wines. I was mainly talking about the Gravners and the Kabaj's etc. Even the SQN Viognier I tried was in this vein. I realize there is a whole spectrum here that I've probably missed. I myself made my amphorae Marsanne with 4 months of skin contact, and it never became as tannic or fruit-obscuring as the ones I mentioned. So it's very, very varietal and elevage specific as well.
Yes, it must depend on the maceration time and variety to an extent. And in Georgia the percentage of skins used in the fermentation is another variable.

In the east of the country (Kakheti) the tradition is to use all the skins, and throw the stalks in as well for good measure - while in the west they are traditionally more sparing in the use of skins, using smaller percentages or just macerating for a short time before the main fermentation in the qvevri. Those are the traditions, but it also varies from winemaker to winemaker, and what they want to achieve with a particular wine.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#39 Post by Mark.Ricca » September 10th, 2019, 3:20 pm

When did Borowitz start writing wine for the New Yorker?
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#40 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 10th, 2019, 5:03 pm

Jason T wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 12:13 am
Jim Cowan wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:45 pm
Amazingly good food wines.
That they are.

And I tend to like mature wines, because they often show more complexity than their younger counterparts. I’ve found orange wines, and some natural wines, to offer a lot of the complexity up front, without needing nearly as much age. So in that regard while many of these wines either can’t/shouldn’t be aged, or it’s a role of the dice, many don’t need it either.
I think Levi used to pair orange wines with a fish course that used to follow the meat course at Alta. I never had the pleasure of dining there.

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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#41 Post by Adam Frisch » September 11th, 2019, 9:04 am

Steve Slatcher wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Yes, it must depend on the maceration time and variety to an extent. And in Georgia the percentage of skins used in the fermentation is another variable.

In the east of the country (Kakheti) the tradition is to use all the skins, and throw the stalks in as well for good measure - while in the west they are traditionally more sparing in the use of skins, using smaller percentages or just macerating for a short time before the main fermentation in the qvevri. Those are the traditions, but it also varies from winemaker to winemaker, and what they want to achieve with a particular wine.
Agreed, maceration and phenolics is a whole science. I learned from last vintage that certain grapes do well with longer skin contact and other's less so. Generally speaking, varieties that already are quite tannic can get overpowered and need a lot of time, and those that are a little less so seem to take nicely to it. Which seems pretty logical.

The American winemaker that runs Pheasant's Tears in Georgia said that the stemmy inclusion will protect the wines better and make them age better than ones where just skins were used. But it also made them vegetal and a lot less accessible in the beginning. I thought that was pretty interesting. I myself have not used the stems except for on my rosé wine (and that's only because the berries are to big to fit in destemmer!). [drinkers.gif]
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Re: The New Yorker on Orange Wines

#42 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 11th, 2019, 9:20 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 9:04 am
Agreed, maceration and phenolics is a whole science. I learned from last vintage that certain grapes do well with longer skin contact and other's less so. Generally speaking, varieties that already are quite tannic can get overpowered and need a lot of time, and those that are a little less so seem to take nicely to it. Which seems pretty logical.

The American winemaker that runs Pheasant's Tears in Georgia said that the stemmy inclusion will protect the wines better and make them age better than ones where just skins were used. But it also made them vegetal and a lot less accessible in the beginning. I thought that was pretty interesting. I myself have not used the stems except for on my rosé wine (and that's only because the berries are to big to fit in destemmer!). [drinkers.gif]
I've understood that John Wurdeman isn't the winemaker there, but instead Georgian Gela Patalishvili.

I don't know how much the stems affect the accessibility of the wines, but having very recently tasted dozens of kvevri wines made with the inclusion of skins, seeds and stems (most from either vintages 2018 or 2017), I really didn't find any noticeably vegetal characteristics in the wines. On the contrary, I find those stemmy notes more noticeable in many Pinot Noirs or some Syrah wines.

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