I’m going to tell you a little bit about one
of Italy’s most famous sparkling wines. And I’m pretty sure you’ve probably heard of asti
spumanti. Now, before you turn off and say, “Ewww, asti spumanti, it’s always sweet.”
I need to tell you, asti spumanti is not always sweet and asti spumanti has cleaned up its
act. And in the last few years, there have been new rules and regulations enforced that
asti spumanti is now a good, interesting wine and you should give it a try. So, Asti, is
actually a region in Italy and it’s a region in a very famous wine growing area called
Piedmont, or Piedmont or Piedmonte, depending on your accent. So, Asti is a town and it’s
also the name of the wine that’s produced there. There’s actually several wines produced
in Asti. The most famous one in America is asti spumanti, which means really just sparkling
wine from Asti. It’s made from a grape called moscato, also called muscat. And asti spumanti
is a fun, fruity, sparkling wine. It’s made using a large, kind of bulk method, called
charmot, so it doesn’t have to be too serious. And some times it is sweet, but some times
it is dry and you can get an interesting asti spumanti that goes with just about any food.
So give asti spumanti another try. And while you are, don’t forget that asti spumanti has
a brother that is less well known, but very, very lovable. This wine is called moscato
d’asti. So it’s kind of the same grape, in the same place, but a totally different style
of wine. And moscato d’asti is slightly sweet, slightly bubbly and only slightly alcoholic.
It’s only slightly alcoholic because they stop the fermentation before all the sugar
is converted to alcohol. So we have a wine that’s low in alcohol, with a little bit of
sugar and a little bit of fizz. And before you want to run away and say, “ewww, I don’t
like sweet wines, give asti spumanti a try.” Give moscato d’asti a try especially, a little
bit of sweetness in there, kind of a nice lemon-lime, green apple, apricot flavor. Totally,
totally balanced with a nice lemony acidity and the perfect wine for your light desserts.
For your apple desserts, for your vanilla ice cream, you only need a little bit. It
will refresh you and you can really kind of drink it any time of day without getting,
shall we say, too mood enhanced or too inebriated. Not always a good thing. So asti spumanti,
moscato d’asti, two brothers of the same Italian village. Both of them worth another try.