The vermouth category continues to expand with interesting entries, such as this orange-tinged, slightly sparkling version. A collaboration between Samantha Sheehan at Poe Wines in Napa and Chez Panisse kitchen alum Mike Emmanuel, D’Orange involved 300 pounds of Seville bitter oranges peeled and macerated in wine and eau-de-vie, then added to a couple barrels of Mendocino chardonnay along with select botanicals. The result, bottled with a bare hint of prickly bubbles, is a wonderful balancing act between warm orange flavor and a pleasantly mellow, lingering bitterness and bright acidity. It’s delicious on its own, but also works magically with both American whiskey and gin. Try it instead of sweet vermouth in your next Negroni.
Reviewed in W&S Winter 2017.