Tag Archives: moscato

Moscato d’Asti: The Sweetest Pairing

15 Sep

Why don’t we drink moscato d’asti all summer long? It’s a good question. We should!

On a brutally hot day, sometimes the best thing you can do is pop open a bottle of Moscato d’Asti. The gentle effervescence and delicate fruit provides a lovely respite from the hot sun. In the past I mistakenly  viewed moscato d’asti as a dessert wine, but a recent Master Class tasting clearly demonstrated to me where the strength lies with these delightful, low alcohol, and inexpensive wines.

Here’s the thing about moscato d’asti  it offers light acidity, low alcohol, and crisp, clean ripe fruit flavors with floral and herbal aromas. Because fermentation is halted early, sugars that would normally convert into alcohol are left behind in the juice (literally). So the wine is a touch sweeter than a dry riesling, for example, but also has the benefit of being bubbly, another natural occurrence from the fermentation in closed steel tanks.

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I have to admit, I made a mistake in seeing Moscato d’Asti as a dessert wine. At this tasting, I noticed the best pairing came from the wine’s natural complement to savory flavors of cheese, quiche, bread, and mortadella. It left the mouth fresh, lively, renewed. When paired with petit fours, the experience was simply too much sugar at once. But against a savory bite? Perfection! And on a hot day, these wines were refreshing and delightful on the palate, a good way to escape the midday sun.

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Gorgeous setting, but a sweet bite was not the finest pairing for Moscato d’Asti. I preferred savory!

 

 

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A lovely lineup of six Moscato D’Asti wines, all quality, well-made wines from 2015, under $20.

Tasting Notes:

Saracco Moscato D’Asti DOP 2015: ABV 5.5%,  WS Average $15. 

Color is very pale with hints of straw. The nose shows apricot, white pear, and orange peel. On the palate a medium effervescence is met by tangerine and ripe peach.  Sugars are direct and upfront.

 

La Caudrina Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2015: ABV 5.5%,  WS Average $15. 

Color is pale straw, nose is decidedly floral with a hint of herbs. On the palate, crisp pear, honeysuckle,  and orange peel are evident. Sugars are back palate.

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Vignaioli Di Santo Stefano- Ceretto Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2015: ABV 5,5%, WS Average $17.

Medium straw/goldenrod in color. The nose is subtle with herbs & fruit. Sage, lavender, and white peach. On the palate, light effervescence, dried apricot, golden delicious apple. Sugars are in the mid & side palates. Impressive balance.

 

Coppo SRL Moncalvina Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2015: ABV 4.65%, WS Average $15.

Color is pale straw with a green tinge, the nose is sweet with wildflowers, peach and apricot. In the mouth, baked peach, ripe apple and orange blossoms up front. Sugars are direct and forward in the mouth. This wine fits right into middle, as the median of the six wines tasted.

 

Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2015: ABV 5%, WS Average $20.

Color is pale straw, the nose shows citrus, honeyed apricot, and distinct notes of sage and thyme. Light effervescence with tiny bubbles. Fruit is quite delicate in the mouth. A less sweet approach, with gentle apricot and peach, sugars faded to the side palate. Very nice.

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Marenco Vini Scrapona Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2015; ABV 5.5%, WS Average $19.

Pale yellow in color. Nose is most delicate of the wines today: lightly herbaceous with orange blossom. Delicate flavor profile of orange, lime, apricot and peach. Sugars and citrus are firmly in the back palate.

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I enjoyed all of these wines, but personally my favorites were wines #3 and #5 in our tasting (from left to right in the pictures of the glasses): the Vignaioli Di Santo Stefano-Ceretto (the bottle with the elongated neck) and the Michele Chiarlo “Nivole”, both of which had distinct fruit, floral and herbal notes, and sugars that were less noticeable, placed on the side palate.

If you aren’t already a fan, I suggest you try Moscato d’Asti soon, and enjoy it in the afternoon as a refreshing complement to a savory bite. You will be pleasantly surprised how well it pairs with meat or  cheese, how beautifully it blends with creamy flavors, and how the herbs in the wine will pop in harmony with arugula or fresh herbs in a dish.

Let me know what you try!

 

à votre santé!

 

 

Low Alcohol Wines for the Win! JvBUnCorked on Snooth

29 Mar

Another JvB angle for Snooth.com in their low alcohol wine roundup!
Check our the original article here, with just my content shared here. 

As a precursor, allow me to say this: I love being in a community of great wine writers who all have interesting perspectives! I learn a lot from my fellow oenophiles, and this month I had a bunch of “Yes!” responses when I read their portions, as well as a few “hey, I’ve gotta try that!” reactions. I hope you will too, my friends. What else will you want to know: My suggestion might have the lowest alcohol by volume in our group at a shockingly low 5.5%, but just as importantly, the wine is a delight. I loved the flavor profile both by itself and when paired with Thai, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese recipes. And check out that cool bottle! I adored the effervescence in this wine, and plan to have more of it in my cellar when I can make some room. Enough- here’s my piece (below), and make sure you reads the whole article (link above) to see the other cool submissions my collaborators suggested! -JvB

Low Alcohol Wines for the Win

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In an age where we calculate and coordinate our gym music playlists with our daily steps and caloric intake, wine is one of life’s greatest pleasure that sometimes gets put on the chopping block, especially when alcohol and calories are all under consideration. So here is my low alcohol solution with a top-level moscato that clocks in at a mere 5.5%ABV. Yes, you read that right, only five-point-five percent alcohol! I Vignaioli di S. Stefano Moscato d’Asti 2014 is a DOCG moscato from the Ceretto winery in Piedmont that is great for both your body and your taste buds. A beautiful color of afternoon sunlight and medium straw, the nose shows effervescence, honesuckle, and orange blossoms. In the mouth, delightful and delicate bubbles give way to ripe pear, clover honey, sweet apple, and tangerine. A single five-ounce glass has only 137 calories, gently sweet yet with enough acidity and bright fruit flavors to cleanse your palate beautifully through an entire meal from appetizer to dessert.

-Jim van Bergen, JvB UnCorked.wordpress.com

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à votre santé!

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