Moscato d’Asti: Why this sparkling wine is pure joy in a glass
In my last column’s wine recommendations, I referred to Moscato d’Asti as the happiest wine. For me, it is as joyful a glass as you could hope to have, so it surprises me that more people do not indulge in it more often. Though from the same region, around the town of Asti, it should [...] The post Moscato d’Asti: Why this sparkling wine is pure joy in a glass appeared first on CityAM.
In my last column’s wine recommendations, I referred to Moscato d’Asti as the happiest wine. For me, it is as joyful a glass as you could hope to have, so it surprises me that more people do not indulge in it more often.
Though from the same region, around the town of Asti, it should not be confused with Asti Spumante, for this wine is created from the fragrantly floral Moscato Bianco grape. Granted the highest level of categorisation in Italy, DOCG, alongside such big hitters as Barolo and Barbaresco it is one of the leading wines from Piedmont. It is lightly sparkling, headily aromatic and sweet.
But this is not the cloying, luscious or richly syrupy style of sweet that may immediately come to mind.
A Moscato d’Asti’s beauty is that the sweetness is light, fresh, and delicate. It can offer beautiful complexity without taxing the mind, with layered notes of blossom, honey, sweet peaches, fresh green grapes, garden herbs and candied citrus peel.
It can compete with any dessert wine as, much like a champagne with a creamy cheese, the fresh bubbles can cut through any decadently rich pudding, but because of its fragrant lightness it is a beautiful match with lighter summer desserts such as fresh fruit salad, strawberries and cream or Eton Mess. It compliments without dominating.
Tea-time is utterly elevated by the inclusion of this sweet little sparkler, which goes so well with scones, jam and clotted cream, little strawberry tarts and dainty pastries.
Do not, however, pigeonhole this purely into the dessert wine category: if the food is fresh or fruity, it probably goes well. Just think of this Italian sparkling with your starter of fresh melon and prosciutto, or with a scoop of blue cheese and some grapes.
It is also typically low in alcohol at around 5 per cent. There is an increase in ‘mindful drinking’, with Gen Z actively choosing more and more low or no options. With so many new brands out there, I would like to take them back to the old school wine world and introduce them to Moscato d’Asti, the original tasty low alcohol option.
Being so lightly boozy and with such fine, elegant flavours, Moscato d’Asti even makes an ideal breakfast drink. I would have said ideal for a sparkling celebration, but at the relatively low cost in comparison to champagne, this could well be an everyday affair.
For those of us who have had to endure the dry baby-shower then may I heartily recommend this option to all organisers going forth. It is pretty, floral, totally baby-shower appropriate and will take the edge off pinning the nappy on the baby or guessing the width of Susan’s bump for all the rest of us.
While the fashion for current consumer palates is dry wine, I believe that because of its refinement, versatility, and soft, playful bubbles, Moscato d’Asti will stand the test of time for any wine lover.
The post Moscato d’Asti: Why this sparkling wine is pure joy in a glass appeared first on CityAM.