Libera Keratsuda, Bulgarian orange wine

Apr 30, 20 Libera Keratsuda, Bulgarian orange wine

Although ‘orange wine’ has been around for centuries, traditionally produced in Georgia, Italy and Slovenia, it was not until 2004 that the term came into existence; when it was coined in a cellar in Sicily. Orange wines are also referred to as ‘amber wines.’

When I first tried orange wines, I was not exactly bowled over. However, over time, as I tried different ones, often with a side of hummus at the tastings I hosted in the shop, I came to realize these wines really are best when drunk with food.

Orange wines are usually quite astringent with loads of tannic structure. This is due to the skin contact with the ‘must’ or pressed juice. Depending on how long the ‘must’ is in contact with the skins, it will produce a wine with more, or less, of these characteristics.

Keratsuda is an indigenous grape to the Strouma Valley in Bulgaria and is only grown by a small number of producers, Libera Estate being one of them. To make their orange wine, they let the juice spend 45 days on the skins, which gives it a deep golden colour as well as the pronounced astringency I was talking about earlier.

Libera Vineyard, Strouma Valley, Bulgaria
Libera vineyards in the Strouma Valley, Bulgaria

The result is a wine that has aromas of apricot and vanilla with a hint of pears. It’s quite refreshing with good acidity and a long finish. There is definite tannic structure which makes this a good choice to have with a meal. It’s really good with spicy Asian food. I paired it with steamed dumplings and a veggie stir fry – very tasty match. I imagine it would be good with many different types of cuisines, including that old stand-by, hummus.

I currently have it in stock here in Dalston, priced at £14.50, so stop in and pick up a bottle.

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