Nothing against common oranges, but it’s hard to resist a fruit that’s the shade of red wine, with many of its health benefits to boot. This similar coloring is no coincidence: The crimson flesh of blood oranges comes from anthocyanins, the same antioxidant pigments found in the beverage.
If pairing the fruit with wine, however, don’t rule out whites, which can highlight its layered flavors. In the U.S., peak blood orange season is from January to April, when they’re a smart addition to Mimosas, fennel salad and duck a l’orange.
For all its rich color, a blood orange is, in fact, an orange, with notes of grapefruit, lime and tangerine. Australia’s Hunter Valley Semillon is a unique expression of the grape, a light and crisp wine fragrant in citrus and herb aromas. It’s a no-brainer with a blood orange salad.
The hint of raspberry in a blood orange needs to be gently coaxed, not smothered by a red with bold raspberry flavors. Instead, a Champagne that’s made entirely from Pinot Noir has similar notes of red berries alongside the refreshing quality that makes it a perfect match.
Sweet or Savory
Blood orange has a gentle floral aroma, especially in its peel. Using the zest can add complexity to sweet and savory recipes. Sweet and zippy Moscato d’Asti has a pretty perfume of orange blossoms, which helps bring out the same quality in dishes made with blood orange.
Play to the fruit’s immediate sugariness in any citrus dessert like blood orange tart, soufflé or meringue pie. Since dessert wines should be sweeter than the dish, try Vidal Icewine from Canada, which balances intense sweetness with high acidity and an orange marmalade flavor.