Orange Duck, Orange Wine #ItalianFWT
Italian Food, Wine & Travel Group Goes Orange
Having finished our region-by-region tour, our #ItalianFWT group is working on new, different ways to explore Italy. Join us this month as we experiment with skin-fermented white wines from all over Italy! Further down in the post you can see what all my Italophile buddies have dreamed up.
Skin-Fermented White Wines = “Orange”
What is an orange wine? It helps to start with a brief discussion of how typical wines are fermented:
- Red wine – Red grapes are harvested, placed into an open top tank, crushed and allowed to ferment. The alcoholic fermentation (typically anywhere from 5 days up to 6 weeks) is completed in the presence of the grape pulp, skins and seeds. The new wine is pressed off the grape must.
- Rosé wine – Starts out like a red wine. Grapes are harvested, placed in an open tank, crushed and fermentation begins. Somewhere between a few hours and a few days, the lightly colored fermenting liquid is pressed off. Fermentation finishes without the presence of the grape pulp, skins and seeds.
- White wine – White grapes are harvested and immediately pressed, separating the juice from the grape pulp, skins and stems. The clear grape juice is placed in a tank for fermentation. No color or any flavor compounds are derived from the pulp, skins or stems because they were separated so soon.
- Orange wine – White grapes processed in the fashion of red wines above. The white grapes are harvested, placed into an open top tank, crushed and allowed to ferment. The alcoholic fermentation is completed in the presence of the grape pulp, skins and seeds (a few days up to 9 months!). The new wine is pressed off the grape must.
In an orange wine, the aromas, flavors and textures from the white grape components are extracted as part of the fermentation. The resulting wine is similar in texture to a red wine, but the aromas and flavors are very different from any of the above. In addition, many makers of orange wines also allow the in-process wines to be exposed to the air and develop oxidative aromas. They may also adhere to low or no-sulfur regimens. These additional elements are not required and are not used by all.
Hipster Fad or Traditional Gem?
Orange wines are nothing if not controversial! Several years ago they were discovered by sommeliers, critics, wine enthusiasts and winemakers around the world and a phenomenon was born. All of a sudden, orange wines were springing up everywhere. Some good, some not so good.
They are a mixed bag at our house. They did take some getting used to, but I find I enjoy them very much. Julie, on the other hand, won’t touch them. Should you try them? If you’re a bit adventurous, I would say yes, definitely! Keep an open mind, don’t serve them too cold (more like a red than a white). If you don’t like the wine on day one, set it on the counter and come back on day two, three. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Stanislao Radikon ‘Oslavje’ Venezia Giulia IGT 2006 ($39 at Henry and Son)
From the winery:
- 40% Chardonnay 30% Sauvignon 30% Pinot Grigio
- Natural fermentation
- Maceration in oak vats for 2/4 months (note: this is the time on the skins)
- Maturation in 25/35 hl casks for 4 years.
- Bottle ageing for 2 years.
- No added sulphur.
Eye: Cloudy, deep deep orange. Unfiltered
Nose: Clean, medium intensity, ripe tangerine peel, pine needles, a bit oxidized.
Mouth: Rich mouthfeel, high acidity, medium tannins. Easy to think of the richness of a red wine mouthfeel with a very different flavor profile. Curry, tangerines, mushrooms, forest aroma, wet leaves, very complex. Medium+ finish, lingering citrus, curry, forest.
I love this wine and would happily pair it with any number of traditional red wine pairings: lamb, steak. It also pairs nicely with chicken & pork. Very versatile once you get the hang of the flavor profile.
Radikon Oslavje with Duck on the Grill
I think of duck more like a red meat than fowl and usually pull out a red wine. The Radikon Oslavje was very enjoyable with every element of the food on the plate. It had a rich texture, ample acids and tannins for the luscious duck breast. I had finished the potatoes in the leftover duck fat, so they held some of the same richness.
Italian Food Wine & Travel Posts and Chat
Join us this Saturday, July 2 at 10am CDT on Twitter at #ItalianFWT to chat about skin-fermented white wines from Italy. Here is a preview of what’s to come from our Italian blogging group:
- David at Cooking Chat shares “Bressan Pinot Grigio: Tasting an Orange Wine”
- Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog shares “Caspri Luna Blu and Grilled Moroccan Chicken”
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Piattino di Polpo e Patate with Skerk’s Malvasia”
- Jennifer at Vino Travels shares “There is Red and White, but Orange Wines too?”
- Mike at Undiscovered Italy shares “Gray Matters”
- Jill at L’Occasion shares “What Your Madre Never Told You About Orange Wine“
- Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva shares “The Aperitivo Hour with Orange Wine & Walnut Pesto”
- Michelle at Rockin Red Blog shares “What Color is Your Wine? Mine May Be Orange“
- Li at The Wining Hour shares “The Road to Orange Wine in Umbria”
- Jeff at FoodWineClick shares “Orange Duck, Orange Wine”
Don’t forget to join us next month. We’ll be drinking Italian Rosato (the Italian version of rosé).
Note this recipe comes from the book “Hot Coals” by Jeroen Hazebroek and Leonard Elenbaas. The American lexicon of ceramic grill recipes seems locked into the spicy Southern or Texas genres. This book takes a traditional European approach where you might think about your grill as a wood burning fireplace and go from there. While the cover is a bit goofy, the recipes are solid and the photos inside are beautifully done. They go into some depth on the ceramic grill techniques, which is very helpful for a beginner! Ingredients Side Dish Ingredients Instructions
Reverse Seared Orange Duck
Note this recipe comes from the book “Hot Coals” by Jeroen Hazebroek and Leonard Elenbaas. The American lexicon of ceramic grill recipes seems locked into the spicy Southern or Texas genres. This book takes a traditional European approach where you might think about your grill as a wood burning fireplace and go from there. While the cover is a bit goofy, the recipes are solid and the photos inside are beautifully done. They go into some depth on the ceramic grill techniques, which is very helpful for a beginner!
Side Dish Ingredients