Orange Wine Already Over, Say Two Wine Writers

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A spectrum of orange wine. Photo: Ceri Smith/Biondivino

Despite the fact that most of your friends, and possibly even you, have not yet heard of orange wine, two people this week have penned pieces cutting it down and declaring the trend over. Writing for Forbes, Richard Betts declares that Tecate is a superior beverage to orange wine, quoting a friend who calls them "the Kardashians of wine," and lamenting that he "look[s] forward to the faddish / cultish following they’ve engendered in certain wine circles waning." (You'll recall that as far as pop-culture comparisons go, Grub Street thinks the wine is more akin to Bon Iver than the Kardashians.) The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonné, who was one of the first American wine geeks to write about orange wine back in 2009, concurs.

He's already tired of them, and though he fears angering the wine world's "fashion police," he writes, "One concern nagged amid the hype, and over three years it has amplified to a wail: Many orange wines are not that good."

Just to back up, orange wines are white wines fermented with the skins, giving them, as Bonné described, "the flavors of white grapes, [and] the texture of red," adding, "The weirdness is the key to their versatility."

In our opinion, they're an interesting subgenre that often goes well with food, and just like with all wine, some of the cheaper examples are interesting, while others aren't, and they're not for everyone. Bonné points out that the prices have skyrocketed, with some of the nicer bottles showing up on wine lists for $70 or more — and yes, that may be a result of the fad — and increased demand.

Anyway, it's hard to declare a trend over before it's barely begun — at least for the larger drinking public — but leave it to the entrenched critics.

Orange Wine Has Hit a Wall [Inside Scoop/Chron]
Why Tecate Is Greater Than Orange Wine [Forbes]
Related: Sloshed: How to Enjoy Orange Wine, the Indie Darling of the Wine World