The Best Orange Wines to Drink During Any Season

Try something other than the typical red or white

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Best Orange Wines

The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

Depending on who you ask, orange wines are on the rise, possibly poised to be the new rosé. New York-based sommelier and natural wine expert Doreen Winkler, who also founded orange wine club Orange Glou, is among those leading the charge. But what are orange wines, exactly?

"Orange wines are made with white grapes but in a way typical for reds, where the juice stays in contact with the skins after pressing, resulting in hues ranging from pale straw to golden to very dark orange—hence the name," Winkler says. "Wines have been made this way for millennia in Georgia but have recently become popular among winemakers and wine drinkers worldwide."

Orange wines are made all over the world from a diverse variety of white wine grapes. The exact hue and tannin profile of the wine depends on both the grape varieties used, as well as the amount of time that the juice spends macerating with the skins. For less grippy, more “white wine” style orange wines, look to those with paler hues and less skin contact. For a flavor-packed, more textured option, look to those with darker hues. Additionally, orange wines are made in both dry and sparkling styles. While most are dry, there are a good number of examples with residual sugar. 

Best Overall

Field Recordings SKINS Orange Wine

Field Recordings SKINS Orange Wine

Eric Hsu, co-founder of Coast and Valley wine bar in Brooklyn, New York, is partial to this blend from California's Central Coast. “Winemaker Andrew Jones has been killing it in Paso Robles since 2007 with single vineyard site wines showcasing a sense of place and personality,” Hsu says. “And with a wine with an as-clear-as-it-gets name called SKINS, Andrew claims it'll make anyone a believer in non-red wine. Honey and white flowers with notes of apricot and orange make this wine incredibly fun and crushable.”

When we first recommended the 2019 bottling, Field Recordings used a mix of Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. The 2021 version is still primarily those three varieties with Albarino, Vermentino, Verdelho, and Albillo Mayor added in. Jones recommends pairing this award-winning wine with some funky cheese, like a bleu, or a hearty duck sausage.

Price at time of publish: $25

Region: Paso Robles, California, USA | Variety: Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Albarino, Vermentino, Albillo Mayor, Verdelho | Tasting Notes: Dried apricot, orange zest, stone fruit, almond skin

Best Budget-Friendly

Gerard Bertrand Orange Gold 2020

Gerard Bertrand Orange Gold 2020

Produced by Languedoc winemaking giant Gerard Bertrand, Orange Gold pays homage to the great skin-macerated wines of The Republic of Georgia, first produced over 6,500 years ago. Bertrand’s expression shows a fresh and easy-drinking side of skin-contact wine, rendering this bottle perfect for both novices and long-standing fans of orange wine alike. 

Produced from an organically-farmed blend of Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Mauzac, and Muscat, this aromatic wine shows vibrant flavors of candied fruits, orange blossom, and white flowers, which harmoniously lead to a pleasant, slightly bitter finish that promises to excite the taste buds. The wine’s structure and light, well-integrated tannins make it the perfect pairing for pre-dinner appetizers, Asian favorites, or slightly spicy Indian cuisine.

Price at time of publish: $27

Region: Languedoc, France | Variety: Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Mauzac, Muscat | Tasting Notes: Candied fruit, orange blossom, white flowers

Best for Outdoor Sipping

Gulp/Hablo Orange Wine

Gulp/Hablo Orange Wine

Fresh Direct

There are a number of reasons why Gulp/Hablo is great for outdoor sipping during the warmer months. Beyond its insane drinkability, the wine’s affordable price tag, low ABV, and liter-sized packaging (that’s 25% more wine than your standard-size, 750ml bottle!) render it our go-to pick. Produced from equal parts Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc, this bright and lively skin-contact wine shows flavors of dried apricots, orange blossom, citrus rind, and hints of yeast. Textured and tasty, the wine’s lingering finish promises to keep you coming back for more—and with a price tag this low, keeping a solid stash on hand is as easy as ever.  

Price at time of publish: $20

Region: La Mancha, Spain | Variety: Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc | Tasting Notes: Dried apricots, orange blossom, citrus rind, hints of yeast

Best Georgian

Shumi Iberiuli Khikhvi

Shumi Iberiuli Khikhvi


Like Winkler notes, the recent trend of making skin-on white wines isn’t remotely new in the nation of Georgia. There, orange wines (or “amber wines”, as Georgians prefer to call them) are an inextricable part of the cultural tradition. Back in the day, Georgian winemakers made amber wines in clay vessels known as qvevri, but while today’s amber wine is often fermented in wood or stainless steel barrels, the ancient commitment to creating warm and compelling flavor profiles prevails. 

For an orange wine that is in fact made in a qvevri and that, in terms of flavor and body, exemplifies what Georgian amber wines have to offer, try Shumi Iberiuli Khikhvi’s 2018 vintage. Made with the dry Khikhvi grape (a white grape native to Georgia), this wine features plush stone fruit notes like white peach and nectarine, along with a citrusy, grapefruit-esque tang, hints of minerality, herbaceous and floral aromas, and a bracing bitter finish that grounds the other flavors in an elegant and satisfying way. 

Price at time of publish: $27

Region: Kakheti, Georgia | Variety: Khikhvi | Tasting Notes: White peach, nectarine, grapefruit rind, dried herbs

Most Funky

Icaro Nemico Bianco Vulcanico

Icaro Nemico Bianco Vulcanico

Pogo Wines

Icaro’s vineyard can be found in the Castelli Romani DOC region of Italy, which is just southeast of Rome, nestled among the Colli Albani hills. This location gives Icaro a volcanic terroir, which brings a plethora of intriguing flavor notes to the grapes grown there and, ultimately, to the wines made with those grapes. Icaro’s Nemico Bianco Vulcanico, a skin-contact white wine made with the Trebbiano and the Malvasia di Candia Aromatica grapes, boldly and deliciously maximizes the mineral-heavy, flinty notes provided by the volcanic soil.

In addition to its minerality, Icaro Nemico Bianco blends bright citrus flavors, tropical aromas, hints of yeast, and an earthy, slightly bitter funk. The result is a wine that has enormous stage presence right from the first nosing, and each sip opens your tastebuds up to a new facet or dimension. Icaro Nemico Bianco has a medium body and more intensity than a classic porch-pounder, and its zingy fruit profile makes it especially enjoyable for the wine drinker who gravitates toward nuance and complexity. 

Price at time of publish: $29

Region: Lazio, Italy| Variety: Malvasia di Candia, Trebbiano | Tasting Notes: Lemon peel, celery, smoke

Best Easy to Find

COS Pithos Bianco

COS Pithos Bianco


Founded in 1980, COS is the brainchild of three Sicilian winemakers with a vision to create top-quality, low-intervention wines from Sicily. Four decades later, this pioneering brand remains at the helm of affordable natural wine and has since inspired countless local producers along the way. (Note: COS is an acronym of the founders' last names: Cilia, Occhipinti, and Strano). 

Pithos is COS’ answer to affordable, skin-contact wine produced in a responsible way. Crafted in the heart of Ragusa, this varietal Grecanico is produced from biodynamically-farmed fruit and vinified in terracotta vessels. Savory, floral, and easy to drink, this relatively low-ABV (11.5%) wine shows flavors of yellow stone fruit, dried herbs, and saline. Serve chilled.

Price at time of publish: $35

Region: Sicily, Italy | Variety: Grecanico | Tasting Notes: Yellow stone fruit, dried herbs, saline

Best Pet Nat

Tincan Persuasive Pet Nat

Tincan Persuasive Pet Nat 2020


For a sparkling wine that’s perfect for sipping all day long, look no further than Tincan’s Persuasive (skin-contact) Pét-Nat. Contrary to other methods of sparkling wine production, the méthode ancestrale—pét-nat technique—often leaves final wines with softer bubbles, lower ABVs, and an occasional dash of residual sugar. Tincan’s pét-nat is produced mostly from Sauvignon Blanc with a smidge of Riesling. On the palate, flavors of mandarin, lemongrass, grapefruit rind, and dried cooking herbs lead to a vibrant, citrus-forward finish. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Region: Nelson, New Zealand | Variety: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling | Tasting Notes: Mandarin, lemongrass, grapefruit rind, dried cooking herbs

Best California

Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Orange 2021 Love You Bunches Orange 2021

Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Orange 2021

Stolpman Vineyards has been at the forefront of Santa Barbara winemaking since 1990. This family-owned-and-operated business has been highlighting the often overlooked potential of wines from the Ballard Canyon AVA, which officially received appellation status in 2013. The ‘Love You Bunches’ range of wines began with the estate’s carbonic Sangiovese back in 2016, a wine that stole the show at winemaker Pete Stolpman’s wedding.

Since then, the lineup has expanded to include this skin-contact blend of Pinot Gris, Orange Muscat, Sémillon, and Gewurztraminer, produced using whole grape bunches (hence the cuvée’s name) during fermentation. Fruit for this wine is organically farmed, gently pressed, and vinified in steel without any added sulfur. Medium-bodied and bright, the wine shows flavors of melon, papaya, citrus rind, and hints of savory spice on the finish.

Region: Santa Barbara, California, USA  | Variety: Pinot Gris, Orange Muscat, Sémillon, Gewurztraminer | Tasting Notes: Melon, papaya, citrus rind, savory spice

Best Organic

Sybille Kuntz Estate Mosel Organic Orange Riesling Trocken 2020

Sybille Kuntz Estate Mosel Organic Orange Riesling Trocken 2020

Sybille Kuntz has spearheaded her family estate for over 30 years. A long-time pioneer of organic and biodynamic farming, Kuntz’s estate began farming organically back in 1990 (certified in 2013), then achieved Demeter certification (biodynamics) in 2013. Based in the heart of the Mosel, her 18 hectares of vines average between 45 and 80 years in age, leading to small amounts of concentrated, healthy fruit. 

Kuntz first began producing her Organic Orange Riesling back in 2017. Fruit comes from biodynamically-farmed, 50-year-old vines rooted in blue slate soils. Grapes are carefully harvested by hand, de-stemmed, and crushed in open tanks, followed by six months of maceration/spontaneous fermentation. The wine then ages in large (1,000L) oak foudres for six months prior to being bottled unfined/unfiltered. On the palate, flavors of orange pith, dried apricots, grapefruit rind, and sweet spice dominate the wine’s grippy, complex, and vibrantly textured palate. Riesling skeptics, this unique side promises to open your mind to a whole new world. (Note: Trocken means dry in German. Riesling bottles boasting this word are bottled without any residual sugar.)

Price at time of publish: $38

Region: Mosel, Germany | Variety: Riesling  | Tasting Notes: Orange pith, dried apricot, grapefruit rind, sweet spice

Best Food-Friendly

Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio

Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio

Domaine Glinavos

A lightweight, slightly effervescent Greek wine with gentle stone-fruit flavors, crisp acidity, and a hint of sweetness, Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio works for a wide range of wine-drinking scenarios. It chills nicely without compromising its flavor, so it works as a beach wine or as a patio wine. It has enough body and substance to pair with food, so it can accompany you to a BBQ potluck or seafood boil. Finally, its relatively low ABV makes it easy to enjoy all throughout a day and night of entertaining without overdoing it (and suffering an inevitably-rough next morning). 

Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio is only available in 500mL bottles in the United States, as opposed to the standard 750mL size of a wine bottle. This gives it an advantage among first-time buyers who want to sample orange wine without committing to a full-sized bottle, but if you’re planning to serve it at an event involving more than 2-3 people, you’ll need to take this bottle size into account. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Region: Ioannia, Greece | Variety: Debina, Vlahiko  | Tasting Notes: Apple butter, orange marmalade, cinnamon

Final Verdict

The best orange wine is the Field Recordings SKINS Orange Wine due to the supple hints of florals and honey. It goes perfectly with a fatty cut of meat or aromatic cheese, making it the perfect pair for a charcuterie board. If you're looking for something you can chill for a refreshing happy hour glass, pick up the Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio.

What to Look for When Buying Orange Wine


The tones and notes of orange wines offer a varied selection that is sure to please anyone's palate. Choose what you like: full bodied, floral, sweet, citrusy, or bold. Stronger, more tannic ones have had a longer processing time of skin contact, while lighter, more delicate ones have have a shorter processing time. It is all up to what your taste buds enjoy.

Natural wine

Most orange wines are considered natural wines, meaning no yeast or preservatives have been added. Natural winemaking has been around for a long time; the object is to have as little intervention as possible, allowing the wine to chart its own course. When looking for a bottle of orange wine, check the labels, and don't hesitate to ask the wine shop about it before purchasing. 


A lot of orange wines are natural wines, so you would think that many of them wouldn't contain sulfites. This is not true, as there are at least low amounts of sulfites in all wines because sulfites form naturally during the fermentation process. It is the sulfites added by the winemakers that you should be aware of and check the labels for.


What does orange wine taste like?

The taste of orange wine can vary, depending on the time spent macerating on the skins and the type of grape used. These wines can be citrusy, dry, robust, full bodied, or sweet, which is why they have become so popular. They can be switched up for white, rosé, or red wines depending on the bottle of orange wine you select. And if you don't like one kind of orange wine, try another variety, as they all have a different taste.

What foods does orange wine pair well with?

Orange wines are so versatile; they go well with just about any type of dish or appetizer. Select a bold, full-bodied orange wine to go with curry or tagines, or a light, delicate one to enjoy on a warm summer day. Orange wines go well with seafood, fall dishes, cheese, pizza, salty foods, roasted dishes, barbecues, and more.

What's the proper temperature to serve orange wine?

Orange wines should be served around 55 F. They are served cooler than red wine, but a bit warmer than white. However, you might find you enjoy a dessert orange wine chilled to a colder temperature.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Céline Bossart has been tracing the rise of orange wines since the early days of her career as a wine and spirits writer. Is it the new rosé? Debatable. But you’ll certainly find her reaching for it all summer long.

Taylor Tobin is a wine and beverage journalist with bylines in publications like Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Eater, and Wine4Food. She has adored orange wine since the first time she tasted a qvevri-fermented version at a Georgian restaurant, and she’s an ardent shopper at wine stores that specialize in orange wines and unfiltered natural wines, like Orange Glou in Manhattan, Stranger Wines in Brooklyn, and Sunrise Wine Shop in Austin. 

Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. Her writing regularly appears in major industry publications, including, WineSearcher, Decanter, and beyond. Vicki also works with a prestigious Rolodex of monthly clients, including Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman & Co, Corkbuzz, Provignage, and beyond. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine. When not writing, Vicki enjoys indoor cycling classes and scoping out dogs to pet in her local parks.

Additional reporting by
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Taylor Tobin
Taylor Tobin
Taylor Tobin is a freelance lifestyle journalist based in Austin, Texas. Her work primarily focuses on food & beverage recipes and recommendations.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
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