Roberto Colombi co-owns Union Kitchen & Bar in Wilton Manors, FL, with his wife Christie Tenaud. He is the lead sommelier and oversees front-of-house operations, while Christie is the restaurant’s chef.
For the past few months, I’ve been fascinated by orange wine, specifically the 2018 Marche Bianco IGT, “Coccio,” Filodivino, Italy. Some say this is a new trend, and while there is some truth to this; it is important to know that orange wine has been around longer than imagined.
This type of wine is not made from oranges, but rather from white wine grapes that are fermented in amphoras or ceramic vats for a longer period of time. They are made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice, giving the wine its orange-hue color. This process is very non-interventionist and leads to a more “natural” wine.
Historically, orange wine has been around for thousands of years, and its origin is from the country of Georgia in Eastern Europe. In Italy, it has been around for centuries, but the popularity started to decline in the 1960s.
Presently, there are several producers from California, Italy, Slovenia, Georgia, Austria and more that are reviving this historical wine. A good example is the pinot grigio ramato.
When translated, Ramato means coppery, which is basically a regular pinot grigio that was left in contact with its gray-blue color skin for quite some time. The flavor profile is often more robust and bolder with nutty characteristics of almonds, Brazil nut and hazelnut, as well as fruit like bruised apple, orange peel and honeyed aromas.
Orange wine pairs well with many dishes, from the grilled octopus, crispy pork belly tacos and grilled pork chop on our menu at Union Kitchen & Bar, to swordfish, rotisserie chicken and soft cheeses.
The Marche Bianco “Coccio” 2018 from Filodivino, a winemaker in the Marche region of Italy, comes from vines that are over 50 years old and is certified organic. It has a honeyed, orange-peel bouquet on the nose, and the palate is big, dry, minerally and yet well rounded with aromas of bruised apple, sour dough, hazelnut and pecan nut. Like its amber hue color, the Marche Bianco Coccio is a perfect wine for autumn and the change in season.
Looking for more What I’m Drinking Now? Check out Matt Hungerford and the Golden Pineapple, Sophie Burton and the My Offer Is Nothing, Natalie Tapken and Chateau Simone Rosé, Ervin Machado and the Hibiscus Spiced Margarita, and Rael Petit and the Painkiller, among others.