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! 

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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 the style of orange wine 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!


Find our Guide to Pairing Red Wine and the Key below

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 Pairing Guide

Pairing Orange Natural Wines