People are now going to start drinking wine made from oranges. Oh what a bizarro world! Sure, there is such a thing called orange wine which has popped up on social media and well it is going viral. Orange wine is a YouTube trend that attracts millennials who have very little knowledge of wine to the drinking space. There are all sorts of self-proclaimed wine influencers who are showing people how to make wine using orange fruit.  

Photo: Alevision.co

I came across a popular Youtube channel that had a video about making wine using orange fruit. It had over a lakh views and some very positive reviews, but smacked my head upon what people were thinking orange wine is. They have been misled into thinking that orange wine is made from oranges. Yet they were clapping over it. As a consequence, real orange wine has had to be kept under the radar, for fear of being compared to the social media trend. It would bring bad press. Not surprisingly, orange wine is never sold with its name written on the label.

If consumers were to read a label that says “orange wine”, most of them, especially the wine geeks, would automatically turn away, thinking that this is the exact tragedy that got introduced on social media. Drinking orange wine has yet to be normalised in our culture until people start to see the real orange wine for what it really is. As a matter of fact, orange wine is being introduced into popular culture by way of using different names such as ‘skin-contact wines’ or ‘amber wine’ to avoid any negative attention. 

Orange wine is a little bit like white wine and red wine - in the sense that the skins of the grapes are left intact during the fermentation process just like red wine, and like white wine, orange wine is made from the white grapes. The point of difference, though, is that orange wine is not popular in drinking culture, yet. But it has been around for centuries. It has a unique and refreshing flavour and aroma which is achieved by employing a very ancient winemaking technique. 

In the west, the emerging winemakers who have a real passion for this style of wine are starting to revisit the technique. The truth is that this ancient winemaking technique is more natural than its modern-day counterparts. Since there is minimal intervention needed to make this wine, a lot of the standard techniques used to make other wines are not necessary. Orange wine is facing more backlash because of the fact that it is a natural wine, which wine traditionalists seem to dislike.

But winemakers should shun these opinions and focus only on the fact that the millennials have only tasted the elements of only red wine, rosé or white wine, and could use a new wine in the picture. 

Millennials appreciate innovative and quality products. So winemakers must leverage the opportunity to bring the product to the Indian market, as challenging as it might be! Orange wine looks too good to miss out on it.