If I say sweet wine, you say….White Zinfandel?
Ick! Please; just stop!
The fact is, you can enjoy medium-sweet/off-dry wines that are simple, delicious, elegant…and a far cry from the syrup in a glass that first comes to mind for some. Moscato D’Asti DOCG from the Piedmontese region of Italy is a game changer. Here are four things you need to know.
You probably know Asti Spumante…this is a smoother sibling. Spumante tends to be higher in alcohol and include more bubbles. Moscato D’Asti runs 4-5% alcohol with less pressure. The Moscato grapes (compared to the Bianco grapes) are a more intimate medium-yield crop. The DOCG requires they be harvested by hand in order to retain their perfumes and aroma. The “slightly sparkling” result is gentle and easy.
The terrain makes a difference. The region of Italy that produces this grape is relatively small. It’s also not the Mediterranean climate you might expect. They see rain…even snow on a regular basis. And the terrain is exceptionally hilly. This makes vintages exceptionally important.
It’s not just an aperitif wine. Moscato is not just a before-dinner indulgence. You can savor it with food – particularly salty foods like salami and provolone. In fact, one of the winemakers called this wine the “Coca-Cola of Summer.” While it is quite complex to make, it is easy to drink and easy to enjoy.
Savor the smells. One of the most important components of this wine is the aroma. Savor it. Do you smell peaches? apples? Maybe hints of apricot or pear? There are floral notes, and even whispers of sage. Breathe them in – the wine makers work so diligently to bring you those smells. Inhale them, taste them, let them linger in the back of your mouth.
So next time you are contemplating a sweet wine, for the love of all that is holy, look beyond that White Zinfandel. It really is not a friend to anyone.
Think of Italy and of the rich, fresh grape taste of Mosacato D’Asti DOCG. Here are five we think you should try. Maybe a tasting party date night?
Chiarelo Nivole Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017. My favorite of the tasting. Very light, and a wonderful blend with salty foods.
Ceretto Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017. My second favorite. The grape is treated so well here, they have a separate winery just for this wine. Aromas are subtle, and they grow more as you drink it. I also enjoyed the lingering melon flavors.
Merenco Vini Scrapona Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017. Grown on some of the hilliest terrain, on the eastern side of the region. Smells of lime and sage come to light here more for me than the other vineyards. Highest alcohol content.
La Caudrina Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017. This one is the only naturally fermented option. Very floral.
Coppo Moncalvina Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017. This one is incredibly peach flavored to me and the most aromatic.
Ask for them at your favorite restaurant, or pick up a bottle at your favorite wine store. We love Tower in Buckhead, and several are in stock.
365 Dailys are short and sweet posts designed to highlight the discoveries we unearth on a daily basis as we explore Atlanta, the South, and the world! Thank you to Italy and the above wine makers for hosting us.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.