Pairing Orange Wines at Pasquale Jones

CorkRules | May 15, 2023

The Italian restaurant, Pasquale Jones in Manhattan's Little Italy is well known for its relaxed atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine, and in addition to the spectacular pizza, it also has a sophisticated wine list that is sure to please both the palate and the pocket. It’s small, carefully curated and often changes to reflect changes in the season, and, of course, the menu.

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan identifies the standout wines on the list and explains what to look for in the orange wine selection. Orange wines, or skin contact wines as they are also known, are a fairly new addition to many wine menus, and many people just don’t know what to pair them with, but a simple rule to remember is that orange wines are bold and can be served with bold food. Although orange wines can range from sparkling to light-bodied and full-bodied, they are well-balanced and versatile.

Orange wine is made from white grapes, but the skin stays in contact with the juice longer during the maceration period, which increases the tannins and turns the normally white wine a more golden hue. The longer the contact,  the darker the hue, which increases the tannins and a stronger intensity. Pinot gris and malvasia are two common grape varieties used to make orange wine, but if you dig a little deeper, explore a little further, you can find some delightful orange wines along the border between northeastern Italy and Slovenia where orange wines are madefrom indigenous grapes on the region, including sauvignon vert (friulano), ribolla gialla, and pinot grigio.

Common tasting notes for orange wines include stone fruits like apricot, and dried fruit, sometimes they can be a little nutty and most carry notes of dried orange rind.

These wines pair well savory or spicy dishes. Think Moroccan lamb, savory cheeses, and hearty charcuterie plates. When dining at Pasquale Jones, consider ordering the Pappardelle with a bottle of the Di Giovanna, "Camurria", Sicily 2019. This wine is made from is made from 100% Grillo that are picked from 30-year-old vines in Di Giovanna’s Paradiso vineyard. The grapes are macerated on the skins for five days, making this one of the bolder orange wines, and FYE ‘Camurrìa’ is the Sicilian word for trouble, which we can only guess means it’s so good, you might be tempted to drink a little too much.

Another stand-out orange wine on the list is the Palazzone, "Musco" Procanico, Umbria 2017. It is a blend of procanico, verdello and malvasia. This estate is situated in a historic Umbrian appellation that dates back to Etruscan times, and indeed, and the producer, Giovanni Dubini, is dedicated to producing quality wines over quantity.

So, if your guest wants to order white, but you’re a little more partial to red, consider going orange. In the world of wine, a good bottle can always bridge the divide.

Tune in to this CorkRules podcast wine review and turn on to orange wine.


About the CorkRules Podcast: Each week we pour a glass and share top restaurant wine lists picks, providing you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the wine list through sommelier recommendations, suggested food pairings and expert insights

About CorkRules: CorkRules, the first digital wine app experience, makes it easier for you to navigate the restaurant wine list, and provides you with personalized wine recommendations from your favorite restaurants. Through CorkRules you can find the perfect wine for every occasion based on your preferences. Connect with friends and wine experts to discover new wines to try and learn about wine. CorkRules makes it easier to discover and drink what you love.  

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