Making Orange Wine

Orange wine ingredients, orange wine, orange wine recipe

It rained hard in these parts all day today. The distant hills were smudged with mist and the low steel grey sky felt oppressive. The short time I spent in the sun-kissed South of France, in May last year, now seems centuries ago. Occasionally as an antidote to dull days I recall the clear blue skies, the shimmering azure sea and the colourful food markets of Provence. One memory of the holiday has hooked itself crochet like into my mind; it is the taste of the orange wine, which is a speciality of the region. Now that Seville (marmalade) oranges are in season I decided to make a batch of Vin d’ Orange.

I found a recipe in Mireille Johnston’s ‘French Cookery Course: Part Two’ which yields about ten pints (5.5 litres). I wasn’t sure how I would get through such industrial quantities of orange wine so I made a smaller amount. Here’s the recipe, for the full quantity, which you might also like to scale down.


5 Seville oranges (or 7 regular oranges and rind of one oven dried orange)

Rind of 1 lemon

2 pints/1.2 litres of brandy (45% alcohol content)

6 pints/3.4 litres of red or rosé wine

2lbs/900 g sugar

2 vanilla pods split in half


First wash the oranges, then cut them into small pieces removing only the pips. Put the chopped up oranges into a large glass jar, together with the lemon rind, brandy, wine, sugar, and the vanilla pods. Close the jar tightly and leave in a cool, dark place for about six weeks, stirring every few days. When the six weeks are up, strain and pour the wine into bottles and store in a dark cupboard.

Serve chilled as an apéritif or dessert wine.

Note: Unless you have a very large glass jar you will need to divide the ingredients between two or three jars. I have to fess up that this is an experiment and I have never made orange wine before today! However I cannot see what could go wrong once the recipe is followed. I would add as a caveat that it’s probably best to use a good quality wine, as the process will not transform undrinkable plonk into nectar.

À votre santé.


Filed under Food/Wine, Recipes

11 responses to “Making Orange Wine

  1. I have ALL that .. sat on top of the fridge and the vanilla pods in my dark cupboard, no seville but i can find the ordinary kind.. Excellent, i will make it and we can compare.. and I do understand about caveat.. thank you.. i love making a good bottle of Plonk! c

  2. Merci beaucoup, ma Chérie! I look forward to trying this–sounds a treat indeed.
    À votre santé aussi!

  3. I am just hoping that my version is somewhere near as good as the orange wine I tasted in France.

  4. I’ve never tried orange wine before. It doesn’t look too sweet, but oh boy that brandy will give a great kick! I hope it works well so you get some happy taste memories 🙂

  5. I hope it works too. I am going to have to wait six weeks to find out! 😉

  6. Oh, my grandmother used to make dandelion wine… I think she would have loved this!

  7. I have never tasted dandelion wine – I hope it was delicious.

  8. You use such lovely language to describe all of this. I don’t know if I would attempt making this, but it sounds like it would be good to drink.

  9. Why thank you. I have just had a OMG moment as I remember I have totally forgotten to stir the wine over the last few days so I am off to do some stirring now.

  10. Pingback: ♥ This and That | Just Add Attitude

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