"Orange Is the New Red": Top Chef Michael Voltaggio Revives Orange Wine
Years of guzzling has taught you well the intricacies of red, white, and rosé wines ...but how well do you know your orange wines? Top Chef Michael Voltaggio of buzzworthy LA restaurant Ink. has teamed up with celebrated winemaker Chris Pittenger and wine club Club W, which makes exceptional small-lot wines, to release a two-barrel collection of orange wine, the 2013 Rust Grenache Blanc.
A white wine made much like a red, Rust is a naturally fermented orange wine made by leaving grenache blanc grapes in contact with the grapes' pressed juice, giving the wine its signature "rusty" hue. Its aroma has notes of tangerine, citrus peel, and some dry grassiness, and it finishes like a young, light-bodied red on the palate. Pittenger recommends pairing with "tweener" dishes, which you could normally pair with either a white or a red wine.
Though uncommon, the technique is ancient, tracing back to the Caucasus, but it's slowly gaining speed among wine industry insiders. Time will tell if this fad will last, but for now, we'll take Voltaggio's word for it: "Orange is the new red," he says.