Having just posted a review of a wine from Orange, I couldn’t help thinking of the controversy this week created in a Wine Australia newsletter counselling caution with regard to the use of the word “orange” on wine labels for wines not eligible to the Orange GI region in Australia. Here’s a link to the newsletter article. The “Twittersphere” appeared unhappy given that orange wines also, probably more commonly, describe fashionable skin contact white wines.
Stepping back, my view is that for the wine initiated I suspect there isn’t a great deal of confusion possible between the words. One “orange wine” is really a style of white wine that could be from anywhere and the other’s an Australian wine region. And “orange” is a rather unfortunate word to begin with, since it’s a fruit, flavour and various other things too. But then again, I wouldn’t have thought that Australian “sherry” (now permitted only to be called the unfortunate “apera”) could be thought of as sherry from Jerez! I also suspect those who might be tempted think that the Champagne v. sparkling wine debate is different are on tricky ground. I rather expect the person on the street will be unfamiliar with all meanings of orange wine. If the goal is to encourage the accessibility and enjoyment of wine to all (of legal age of course), then maybe the argument for clarity is not entirely ridiculous.