5 Orange Wines for Summer Times from Austria, Mexico, Oregon, and Paso Robles Paired with Finger Foods #WinePW

Orange wines for summer times with tasty bites

Orange wines for summer times? No, I don’t mean some sort of orange juice infused wine or wine cocktail (although you can find some darn good juicy cocktails here!) Far from it. Orange wines are white wines made with the kind of skin contact typical of red wines– there is no orange juice involved at all. Usually white wines are made with brief contact with the skin; the juice is immediately pressed off.  That extended skin contact tints the wine so that it has a deeper hue, almost an orange or even amber color. Often, orange wines are made in amphora which are large clay or concrete vessels.

Like rosé, orange wines are making strides in popularity– but I doubt if orange wines will ever reach the crescendo rosé achieved because often orange wines are appreciated more by wine geeks than typical wine drinkers. Why? Because they are just a bit weird, geeky, and sometimes hard to wrap you plate and your mind around. 

What a fun night of tasting sustainably grown (three are Demeter and/or organic certified!) and naturally made even RAW orange wines from four regions of the world—Mexico, Austria, Oregon and Paso Robles!! Sue Hill collected this eclectic selection from Ojai‘s Point de Chene Wine & Beer and from a trip to Paso Robles with sharing with me in mind! And so many tasty bites paired with them! What a way to fill the bill for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend prompt for summer sippers and tasty bites! Scroll down for more ideas from the #WinePW crew plus an invite to our Saturday 8am twitter chat.

Orange wines for summer times with tasty bites

MENU: Tasty Bites 

  • Sue’s Smokey Deviled Eggs (M smoked at 225 for 2.5 hours!)
  • Salami Provolone Canapes
  • Sue’s Cranberry Pecan Smoked Chicken Salad in Endive
  • Sue’s Squash and Ricotta Empanadas 
  • Sue’s Mushroom Egg Rolls
  • Tempura Shrimp (store-bought, home fried)
  • Sue’s Zucchini Fritters (home garden grown)
  • M’s Grilled oysters 
  • Sue’s Homemade Herbs of Provence Shortbread Cookies

When it’s “anything but the oven season” these dishes fill the bill! Eggs, oysters, and chicken from the grill or the smoker; eggrolls, fritters, tempura shrimp all fried on the stove. The empanadas and the crostini didn’t take long. Sue baked the cookies when it was cool the morning before.  

All of these wines were so perfect with our foods we wanted to just continue sipping and eating and sipping and eating. And then those cookies! They’re my kryptonite!

When you have a summer sipper, you want to go out on the deck or lay by the pool and have a carefree summer day and be responsive to whatever you want to to. If you put these summer wines with these pairings you will have a fabulous experience and a great introduction to the world of orange wine!

Orange wines for summer times

ORANGE WINES for Savory Summer Sipping  

  • 2021 Ovum Wines “Big Salt” Orange Table Wine, Dundee, OR
  • 2020 Tellez La Gorda Yori, “Bichis” Tecate, MX
  • 2020 Giornata Bianco Trebbiano and Friulano, Paso Robles, CA
  • 2020 Ambyth Estate Decorus Amphora Paso Robles, CA
  • NV  Michlits Werner Meinklang “Mulatschak” Austria 

Tasters Sue Hill, Gretel Compton, and myself Gwendolyn Alley, sampled the wines without food first in the order from top to bottom then we paired with food going from the bottom up. Then we had a free for all! The next afternoon, I enjoyed chicken salad with the NV  Michlits Werner Meinklang “Mulatschak” Austria which had as much stunning grapefruit on the nose and palate before but not much left in the way of bubbles. 

What a wonderful collection of wines! Thanks Sue! 

2021 Ovum Wines “Big Salt” Orange Table Wine, Dundee, OR, US

2021 Ovum Wines “Big Salt” Orange Rosé Table Wine, Dundee, OR, US

Organic Grapes: 50% Pinot Gris, 25% reisling, 15% Gewertraminer, 7% early muscat, 1.5% Sauv Blanc 1% Pinot Blanc .5% other
ABV: 12.9%
SRP: $22
Sue purchased at Point de Chene wine shop in Ojai Ca.

Story: Drinking an OVUM wine should be like listening to AM Radio, in Stereo. They also say they made raw wine meant to be immediately enjoyed. 14 days skin contact. 

What a great introduction to orange wines for a newbie or the unconvinced!

Easy to enjoy yet interesting enough for us wine geeks to get excited. Great start to our meal.

Color: Cloudy, salmon, clear rim.

Aroma: Creekside funk, hibiscus tea, fresh crisp, nectarine, pine forest, meadow flowers

Palate: Blood orange, iron, so much complexity, citrus up front, mineral on the finish as well as cooling mint or eucalyptus, grapefruit, fruit forward without being sweet, 

Pairing: Very nice with our Country chicken salad. The wine fought a bit with the fried food. It was great with our empanadas and the deviled eggs. Good with the spicy salami canapés. The smoke from the grill and the salinity of the oyster is a very delicious pairing with the wine. there is a mightiness in the wine and a grilled oyster also has a mighty character, so the both together work so well.  This wine also carried all the way through to our lavender shortbread cookies for dessert. 

2020 Tellez La Gorda Yori, “Bichis” Tecate, MX

2020 Bichi La Gorda Yori, Tecate, MX

Grapes: Dry farmed Chenin Blanc, Moscatel and a bit of Sauvignon Blanc
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $20
Importer: Llaurador Wines LLC.
Sue purchased at Point du Chene wine shop in Ojai Ca. 

Story: Two brothers growing grapes and making natural wine using concrete eggs. Bichi means naked which is why they named it this way– their wines are natural and naked.

They say that La Gorda Yori “comes from mostly a dry-farmed parcel of Chenin Blanc planted in the 1980’s on granitic soils in Tecate, which was abandoned a few years after planting and recently revived by Noel and his team, and bits of Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel, which were blended in to balance the ripeness of the Chenin. The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and fermented with wild yeasts in concrete tinajas (amphoras), with 3 months of skin contact before pressing. The wine is raised over the winter and bottled without fining, filtration or added SO2.”

Color: Golden brown, it looks like apple cider

Aroma: Fruit and florals, nectar, concentrated apricot nectar, spiciness, mulling spices, dried cloves and cinnamon, smells sweet, apple

Palate: Fruit forward without being sweet, passion fruit and guava, apple cider, such a contrast between the fruitiness and the dry tannins, peach leather on the finish as well as other orchard fruit, this wine is so flavorful and has such great texture. Great acidity. 

Pairing: This wine was absolutely perfect with this wine. the curry in the sauce was a match made in heaven . Great with the deviled eggs bringing out the spicy mustard in the dish. Nice with the chicken salad. Went nicely with the zucchini fritter. The tempura and the egg roll brings out a sweetness in the wine. This is a great wine to pair with asian food. The spices in the mole salami were so perfect with the wine. Serve this wine with chicken mole or barbacoa. 

2020 Giornata Bianco Trebbiano and Friulano, Paso Robles, CA

2020 Giornata Bianco Trebbiano and Friulano, Paso Robles, CA

Grapes: 60% Trebbiano 40% Friulano
ABV: 13.0%
SRP: $45
Sue purchased at the winery.

Story: “Giornata started with a dream to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California employing the sensibility and philosophy of Italian winemaking.” They favor wines with balance and subtlety rather than intensity and extraction, so they pick grapes at lower sugar levels and handle gently in the cellar. 

Fatto a Mano series of wines are low intervention made in clay amphora and “are what they are”. Gravity filled, corked individually by hand, and without any filtration or fining, the wines they say “are not for everyone, and they are not for every occasion, but we feel that all of them are intrinsically unique.”

Color: Cloudy, daffodil white rim, matches our deviled eggs, 

Aroma: Fruit and floral, white flowers, earthen, cured meat, citrus, blood orange, Meyer lemon, 

Palate: Eureka lemon, blood orange, almond, apricot pit, dried apricot finish, bold tannins, clean salinity, minerals, for me the apricot finish was so lovely. 

Pairing: So good with the salami canapés a match made in heaven. Nice with the zucchini fritters loving the garlic. This wine stands up to bold flavors. Nice with the chicken salad. Both become sweeter when paired together. Very nice with the deviled eggs. The empanadas and the wine are also very nice. They have a great tango going on. The zucchini fritters and the empanadas were the best pair with this wine. The lavender cookies make them so light and bright while enhancing the buttery richness, making this a perfect pairing. 

2020 Ambyth Estate Decorus Amphora Paso Robles, CA, US

2020 Ambyth Estate Decorus Amphora Paso Robles, CA, US

Demeter certified Biodynamic Estate Grown Grapes: 44% Viognier, 35% Marsanne, 11% Grenache Blanc, 10% Roussane
84 cases 

ABV: 12.73%
SRP: $38
Sue purchased at the Ambyth tasting room; I visited the Ambyth winery for Slow Wine Guide in September 2021 where we foot-trod Sangiovese which you can read about here.

Story: AmByth is the Welsh word meaning ‘forever’, and they view the healthy land as their legacy. Phillip Hart grew up in the green hills of North Wales, and in the rolling golden hills of Paso Robles, he realized his dream of owning a winery. Biodynamic farmers from the start, AmByth farms for the future. Today Phillip’s son Gelert manages the vineyards, fruit, farm, and olive orchards, and makes the wine. On their 42 acres, AmByth has 17 planted with Demeter certified Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Couinoise, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc with 2/3 of the vines on their own roots. Dry farmed vines are headtrained and widely spaced with roots exploiting cracks in the limestone to survive and thrive. Low yields and high demand means Gelert has expanded to embrace vineyards farmed with a similar philosophy to quench high demand. Foot-stomped organic and biodynamic grapes become unfiltered, vegan, raw, wines with zero additions of any kind including sulfites.

Following foot stomping, the Viognier had skin contact for six days, then the Marsanne was added the ferment for three days, and pressed. With one day of skin maceration, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne were added, then elevage occurred for ten months in an Australian Vitrified Clay Egg, and finally racked and bottled the following descending moon with no filtering or additions.

Color: Amber, the color of cognac, 

Aroma: Smells of oak woodland, it really gives you a sense of place on the nose, orange blossom, Meyer lemon, eucalyptus, there are various layers to be enjoyed, complex and inviting

Palate: A burst of nectarine, chalky enveloping tannins, tangerine, unripe apricot, very drying, dried apricot finish, minerals are very present on the back of the palate, there is dried apricot on the finish as well as stems.

Pairing: Fantastic with the deviled eggs, the chicken salad was just a bit too sweet for the wine. Nice with the shrimp tempura, brings out the herbs in the empanadas, very nice with the salami canapés, loving the fatty richness of the salami and the freshness of the basil. With our shortbread cookies it is all about the herbs that shine when paired with the wine. 

NV  Michlits Werner Meinklang “Mulatschak” Austria

NV Meinklang Mulatschak Blanc Burgenland

Grapes: Welschriesling, Pinot Gris, Traminer.
ABV: 11.5%
SRP: $20
Importer: Normandic Distribution.
Sue purchased at Point du Chene wine shop in Ojai CA. 

Story:  The Michlits family, led by led by Angela and Werner Michlits, runs the Meinklang farm, a Demeter-certified agricultural operation with a variety of crops and 300 Angus cattle. 

Color: Pink grapefruit juice, cloudy like pink grapefruit juice

Aroma: Pink grapefruit, ocean breeze, 

Palate: Pink grapefruit, bubbly, minty freshness, green olive on finish, lively and exciting on the palate. 

Pairing: This wine loved the fried snacks on the table. Great with the zucchini fritters, and shrimp tempura. Sue felt that the chicken salad was too sweet for the wine, and I felt the empanadas were too sweet for the wine as well. The smoked deviled eggs were not a perfect match either. Very nice with the salami canapés loving the rich flavors and spice in the salami and the bright flavors of the basil. The wine also favored the spicy mustard to dip the egg rolls in. Grilled oysters are so much more bold. Maybe because the cookies are not too sweet and have a bit of salt in them, they are so great with the cookies. 

2020 Bichi La Gorda Yori

For more summer sippers and tasty bites, check out:

Read Linda’s invite post here. Join our Sat. 7/10/22 8am Pacific twitter chat on the topic by searching for #WinePW.  

  • 11:00 am ET Q1 Good morning and welcome to the #winePW chat about summer sippers and tasty bites. Introduce yourself, share a link to your blog, if you have one, and tell us where you’re tweeting from today. 
  • 11:010am ET Q2 Today’s topic is wide open to any wine and food pairing that says “summer” to you. So what did you pick and why? #winePW
  • 11:15 am ET Q3 Is there a difference between a summer and a winter wine? Why or why not? What does a summer wine mean to you? #winePW
  • 11:20 am ET Q4 Tell us about your wine this month. What’s noteworthy about the region or producer? Share a link to your blog if you have one. #winePW
  • 11:30 am ET Q5 We’re getting hungry! What tasty bites did you pair with your summer sipper? Pretty pictures, please. #winePW
  • 11:35 am ET Q6 Which did you choose first? Your summer wine or your nibbles and snacks? #winePW
  • 11:45 am ET Q7 How did your pairing work out? What, if anything, would you change? #winePW
  • 11:50 am ET Shoutout to the #winePW bloggers who participated today: @WendyKlik @sommstable @culinary_cam @foodwineclick @always_ravenous @ArtPredator @tsteffe @LemieuxAndrea @CorksConcierge
  • Noon  ET Please join us next month when Camilla @culinary_cam leads us on a CSA challenge – pairing with a recipe inspired by a veggie in abundance in a summer month. #winePW 

Next month we will be featuring California Slow Wines from our adventures this summer as field coordinators for Slow Wine Guide! Stay tuned and subscribe! 

cover to Slow Wine Guide 2022 edition

10 thoughts on “5 Orange Wines for Summer Times from Austria, Mexico, Oregon, and Paso Robles Paired with Finger Foods #WinePW

  1. My kind of food and wine pairing, lots of variety with different flavors and tastes. I must say I really need to be in the mood for orange wine, I think I am an old world traditionalist at heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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