“I can’t let you leave until you’ve tried this,” the barman says. It’s Thursday evening at about six o'clock. The sun is just warm enough that every pub corner is overspilling with people drinking warm lager. A glass drops, the crowd cheers.
I’m inside Enoteca though. It’s London Wine Week. By this point, I’d already visited New Zealand Wine Cellar, Salon Wine Store, and Wine Parlour in Brixton on Tuesday.
The wine world is a generous one. Whether that’s extra servings at New Zealand Cellar or free flowing conversation, expertise and recommendations at Salon Wine Store.
At Enoteca, having finished three nebbiolos and attempting to pay, the bartender says, “I can’t drink another glass of crisp, bright white wine” and places an orange wine in front of me. “When I drink white - this is what it has to be.”
Orange wine is made from white wine grapes, but the winemaking borrows from red. Specifically the wine is made using the skins from the grapes, which provide colour and tannin to the wines.
Until this point, I hadn’t been sold on orange wine. But as I was drinking the Krimiso Cataratto Aldo Viola, I was falling in love. It has soft savoury notes both on the nose and on the palate. It’s got a long finish and is surprisingly complex.
If I couldn’t see the colour of it and you told me it was a pinot, I wouldn’t have questioned you. This was something very special.
Heads up - it’s not cheap. Online I found this at £29 a bottle, but in bars it was ~£55 (Enoteca) and ~£70 (Luca).
What else is there to explore in orange wine? Now, I know I need to find out.