Orange wine recipe

Oranges are so common these days that it is surprising more winemakers do not think to make orange wine. Most fear that they will just end up with uninteresting alcoholic orange juice - but this is not so. Oranges can make a really nice quick maturing dry aperitif wine to be drunk lightly chilled. Oranges are available all year around so this makes a great winter wine.

Let's face it, oranges are not hard to find! They are so obvious in our everyday life, it is easy to overlook their winemaking potential. Many oranges are covered in wax, so buy either unwaxed oranges or wash them in hot water before using them. Use about 8 oranges to the gallon. Grade the rind and avoid the white pith. Pour boiling water over the pith and then add the juice of the oranges once cool. Make the sugar up to about 1080 and ferment out with a suitable wintertime yeast. Cold fermenting yeasts such as Gervin B Wine Yeast GV9 are best in the UK winter as they ferment happily down to about 10C. You are unlikely to need any extra acid in making orange wine.

The homemade orange wine usually clears quite quickly and is then best left for 3 months to mature. Make sure the wine is not too tart - if this is the case then add a touch of extra sugar when serving the wine.

Orange wine is best suited to a dry aperitif wine for stimulating the appetite before eating a large meal, and is so much more interesting than a glass of dry sherry. Make sure it is lightly chilled and served in large glasses that capture the orange scent - much of the flavour of this wine is in the aroma, and not the wine itself.

If you are cunning, fresh oranges can be got very cheaply from greengrocers if the fruit is overripe - perfect for making wine. I do not really see the point of making wine from bottled orange juice - the real thing is so cheap and easy it doesn't seem worth it and I have never tried.