Wine connoisseurs, take notice.
Orange wine is now available at two Boston restaurants, and it’s not a glorified mimosa. It's actually more of a reverse rosé.
“With red grapes used to make red wine and rosé, the pulp inside is white,” explains co-owner and wine director of Beat Brasserie and The Beehive, Bertil Jean Chronberg. “The color actually comes from sugars being transformed and releasing the color of the grape’s skin.”
Rosé only briefly comes in contact with the grape skins to create that signature pink hue. Orange wine, relatively, is the opposite process. White grapes that have darkened in the late harvest are “directly pressed with contact, which dissolves the skin, and results in the lightly colored orange wine,” according to Chronberg.
The general rule for food pairings is that you can put a rosé where a white wine would typically go and an orange wine instead of a red. Chronberg says this is why orange wines should not be chilled, optimally served no colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
While orange wine is now catching on as a more mainstream option, it has actually been cultivated for hundreds of years in places like Italy, Croatia and Georgia. “A lot of these older wines were too strong,” says Chronberg, but newer technologies have made it easier to control the severity of flavors so that orange wine tastes more floral and rosy.
While dining at Beat Brasserie or The Beehive, Chronberg would serve orange wine with “strong character meals” such as barbecue steak, paella, couscous and other Middle Eastern or Tuscan cuisine items.
“It’s not made for white fish,” he adds, “but for something like seared swordfish with spiced eggplant.”
The current orange wine at Chronberg’s restaurants, named Anne Amie, Rosè of Pinot Gris 2016, is produced at the Twelve Oaks Estate Vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon. It is currently available on tap at Beat Brasserie.
“I’ve worked with them for a very long time towards a dream we had of putting an orange wine on tap,” Chronberg says.
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