The Kabaj Rebula “is not the kind you get when cross the Florida-Georgia border; the kind you buy for your Aunt Millie who puts it away in a cabinet never to be looked at again.” For writer Patrick Ogle over at Surprising Wines, this orange wine is for adventurous palates.
Giving white wines extended skin contact is something you see more of these days. It is a tough wine. It gives you the bird the whole time you are drinking it. Out of the bottle Rebula is tight even on the nose. It has an almost candied citrus peel nose with a bit of honey, but a honey with flowery characteristics (orange blossom). It smells like it is going to be sweet but instead it is harsh, woody, tannic (on a level you might associate with big red wines). You may get some citrus, or citrus skin, here but most fruit is buried initially.
Patrick Ogle recommends opening the wine several hours in advance:
When this wine calms down, when the tannins and woodiness retreat, you find that citrus and stone fruit blossoms. This starts several hours after opening (3 or more) but accelerates after 24 hours. It is still tannic but more forgiving. The spice becomes more prevalent and your patience is rewarded.
This isn’t a wine to sit down and drink by itself but it really works with garlicky spicy foods as well as dolmas and olives and similar snacks. It is a strong willed wine. Even on day five this wine is still going strong. The spice comes out more as does something of candied sorts of citrus fruit.
With autumnal notes of dried flowers, honey, hazelnut, citrus peel, and chai tea, the Kabaj Rebula is actually pretty versatile, complementing many Thanksgiving dishes from root vegetables to turkey to hard cheese. Happy adventurous Thanksgiving!