The Italians love playing with colors - especially in their wines.

First, they started the modern "orange wine" trend by vinting white grapes on their skins like red wines.

Now comes Alter Ego, a dry "white" made by Andrea Occhipinti from Aleatico, a Muscat-scented grape usually made into a sweet red.

Occhipinti (not Sicilian superstar Arianna Occhipinti), is an academic who settled on the volcanic slopes of Lake Bolsena in Lazio (a region that includes Rome) and melds indigenous grapes with innovative techniques. H

e also makes Alea Viva, a rare dry red version of Aleatico. As a white, it has minerally edge, a ghost-light hint of tannin that frames a floral nose and what's sommelier, Mariel Wega, describes as a tart, sweet taste of white cherry.

A versatile wine, it's perfect for seafood touched with spice or grill smoke.

- Craig LaBan

Andrea Occhipinti Aleatico "Alter Ego" 2013, $8-$13 a glass, (135 S. 18th St., 215-825-7030); $57 a bottle, Petruce et. al. (1121 Walnut St, 267-225-8232)