While orange wine is not a newcomer to the world of wine, it is increasingly making it into mainstream sipping. But because the wine is still making its way into the arms of wine drinkers, it may seem difficult to put together a wine and food pairing that highlights all of the appropriate flavors.
Good news. It’s not.
“Orange wine can pair with a wide range of dishes because it’s well balanced and has a little more backbone than many whites because of the tannin,” says Niclas Jansson, co-founder of MYSA Natural Wine.
He said that pork is a go-to when serving a more robustly flavored orange wine, as well as dishes that are full of roasted vegetables.
And, says Doreen Winkler, founder of Orange Glou, an orange wine-based wine delivery service, the range of orange wines doesn’t lock the style into any one specific type of food, noting that they range from light-bodied to full-bodied as well as sparkling.
“Orange wines are so versatile that they can often be paired with many different types of foods. Lately, I have been pairing orange wines with sea urchin, fried chicken, a range of aged hard cheeses, spicy seafood boils, jerky, and oven baked salmon,” says Winkler.
Some of her favorite pairings include Matassa Cuvée Marguerite and Radikon Slatnik with aged cow’s cheese.
“Both of these wines have high minerality that balances out the saltiness of the cheese, bringing out flavors of mushroom and umami,” she says.
She also recommends Craven Pinot Gris with beef jerky, and Donkey & Goat Ramato or Costadila 450 slm with fried chicken.
And, when pairing takeout with orange wine, John Avelluto, sommelier and owner of The Owl’s Head in Brooklyn, NY notes that Thai food and other Asian-inspired eats are one of his go-tos.
“I like to show these wines with foods that are as symmetrically layered as they are, like noodle dishes with aromatic spices, fruit flavors and vegetables,” he says.
He also notes that many orange wines not only stand up to hearty holiday meals, but they can also be served alongside desserts with baked fruit, nuts and spices.
As with all wines, however, there are rules to creating the perfect pairing while winging it. This includes ensuring the flavors are balanced between the wine and the meal, using acidity and juiciness to help offset fat. Additionally, selecting a wine that is more acidic and/or sweeter than the meal at hand will also allow for a perfect pairing.