Skin-contact, also known as orange or amber wines because of their hue, are wines made from white grapes that are vinified in the same way red ones usually are. The longer contact with skin aplifies flavors and give the wine a bolder hue.
One, where do you get these wines from? Even though they are growning in popularity and trendy right now, skin-contact ones still aren’t exactly found wherever wine is sold. This weekend, Chisolm Vineyards in Earlysville debuted a skin-contact Chardonnay, so there’s that. But to find my first skin-contact wine to try, I went to Crush Pad Wines in Charlottesville. The day I visitied, only two skin-contact optoins were in stock. I went with what the staff member said was the most popular option.
Wanting to try more than one, I also ordered a skin-contact pinot grigio from Total Wine.
Having the two bottles inhand, I invited the Black Women Who Wine exective committee over to try these two options with me.
First, the bottle from Crush Pad. The Coenobium Monastero Trappiste Vitorchiano 2019 was an option from Italy. This white blend included Trebbiano, Malvasia del Lazio and Verdicchio.
Honestly, everyone agreed this wine was nasty. The mineral flavor shines through. Flavor notes include those of hay, wild herbs, humus and ripe white fruits. Unfortunately, the hay and humus are more prominent than the others.
Our next wine tried was Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio. This option is better for anyone looking to try skin-contact wines for the first time. Being that it’s not a blend, the Pinot Grigio flavor is familiar even if the production method is not. This is bolder than the average Pinot Grigio with notes of peach, melon and blackberriess.