Amber wine is made using white grape varieties. It is essentially white wine that has turned an amber colour due to the amount of contact the grape juice has with its skins, seeds and stems. In Georgia this tends to be done in qvevri (clay vessels) and can be anything from a few weeks, in the case of Imeretian wines, or several months in the case of Kakhetian wines. Keeping the grape juice in contact with its skins gives it colour, more body and more tannins, giving it depth and enhancing character and flavour. The colour can be anything from a pale gold to a deep amber, almost ale-like colour. The colour from the skins comes from the same compounds found in carrots, carotenoids. Amber wine is sometimes also referred to as ‘natural’ wine’ or ‘low intervention’ wine as little more is done to the juice other than to let it ferment in its own natural yeasts and the qvevri shape assists in a natural filtration process
What does amber wine taste like?
It is full bodied and will have tannins (the dryness you feel in your mouth as with a red wine). It depends on the grape variety but generally you will find flavours of dried fruits, apricots, nuttiness, mandarins, honey, bruised fruits, slight sourness. Vazisubani Estate Mtsvane has tropical fruit and dried fig flavours, it is full-bodied with light tannins.
What does amber wine go with?
Great with BBQ meats, cheese, curry, lamb, chicken, fish and Japanese food. Amber wine is best drunk at around 10-12 degrees (cellar temperature). Although it is made with white grapes, it isn’t a light wine and will certainly surprise you. We’ve got several amber wines to choose from so why not give one a try?