BLOG---235-235-2Halloween’s Great Pumpkin seems to bestow its snaggle-toothed, tangerine-tinted grin on just about every beverage imaginable at this time of year, giving us pumpkin ale, pumpkin cider, and—of course—those coveted pumpkin lattes. Wine has traditionally stayed out of the fray, preferring to remain on the sidewalk with a cigarette and surreptitious silver flask while the little pumpkin-costumed ones run off to ring doorbells.

But who says that oh-so-adult wine has to skip all the spooky fun? Enter the niche world of orange wine, a newly popular category stemming from ancient modes of winemaking. These wines do not have a pumpkin flavor, but their distinctive amber color and chewy, tannin-rich mouth feel provide an earthy, almost eerie taste of a time in winemaking history much closer to the origins of All Hallows’ Eve, which perfectly suits this month of October.

Orange wines are white wines that have been macerated with their crushed grape skins and seeds. This method of skin-fermentation is also how red wines are made, and orange wines do share with them a similar body, texture, and wider flavor spectrum.

First made thousands of years ago in the republic of Georgia, winemakers in Italy and Slovenia have recently begun to produce orange wine. Originally, the wines were made in qvevri, traditional Georgian clay vessels that were buried during fermentation.

Orange—more accurately amber, or skin-contact—wines are challenging and complex, holding much appeal for epicureans looking for something new. Why not try a glass this autumn—it might scare you how much you like it!