Sushi and sashimi, slices of raw, fresh fish, are typically paired with sake. Is there a wine that could do just as well?
Wine: Is Orange the New Red?
There are white wine drinkers, and there are red wine drinkers. Please them both? You could either buy a bottle of both, or try finding an orange wine.
Orange wine has characteristics of both white and red wine, making it delicate enough for sushi but bold enough for the soy sauce eaten along with it.
Orange Wine = White Wine + Red Wine
Orange wine is made from white wine grapes, however it is allowed to sit with the skin of the grapes during fermentation. A typical white wine, on the other hand, is peeled immediately and fermented without the skin.
A red wine macerates with the skin allowing for tannin to come through.
A rose is made with red grapes that sit with the skin for a short period of time, resulting in its pink color.
Orange wine meets somewhere in the middle with white grapes that marinates with its own skin. The result is stunning shades of orange from a full spectrum of the faintest blush peach to agent orange, depending on how long the wine sits with the skin.
Where is orange wine made?
Orange wine is still relatively rare but making headway in the west. Currently, wineries that produce orange wine are sprinkled in the countries of Italy, Solvenia, Georgia, Australia, Austria, South Africa, France, and even in the US.
Do you drink it cold or room temp?
You can do either. Depending on how much tannin is in the wine, the bottle will be served at optimal temperature according to the vintner.
What food can you pair with it?
Here is where you get to play and have fun. It works particularly well with salty food. The Methymnaeos Orange paired nicely with a selection of sashimi and accompanying wasabi-soy sauce. However, a darker orange wine might have too many tannins that clash with delicacy of the fish.
Orange is bright and cheery, so think colorful foods such as a bright ceviche flecked with red tomatoes or bright yellow chicken satay skewers with creamy peanut sauce. You could even match the color with a similarly hued slab of salmon that parallels in characteristics of both white and dark meat.
A firecracker to start the party
Or just try it on its own as a festive party drink served upon arrival. Guests may wonder why it is orange. You will not only have an unusual conversation starter, but your red and white wine enthusiasts will both be pleased.