O wait, you had me at breakfast wine! Do you drink wine for breakfast?
Whenever I lead a Moscato d’Asti tasting, I love to have a little fun with the tasters by telling them one of my favorite stories about Moscato d’Asti.
Many moons ago, on a very cold and damp January morning in Piedmont when I was just getting my start as a wine writer and educator, I visited and tasted with one of Moscato d’Asti’s most famous producers (and one of its most popular in the U.S.; I can’t mention the name because of the Moscato d’Asti consortium blog protocol of never mentioning producers by name).
The winemaker in question is a devoutly religious man, as are all of his family members. Straight and narrow, however warm and thoughtful, they are hardly what you would call bibulous. I asked the winemaker and family patriarch what his favorite pairing for his very old-school style Moscato d’Asti was.
“Breakfast!” he said confidently, without missing a beat.
He noticed a perplexed look on my face and chortled.
“When I was a child,” he recounted, “my mother used to add Moscato d’Asti to our steamed milk and bread. Today, people do it with cookies or lady fingers. It’s delicious!”
Of course, between Moscato d’Asti’s low alcohol content, the small volume of wine added to the milk, and the fact that the heat of the milk causes the alcohol to evaporate, it doesn’t give you a buzz — even if you’re a little kid.
Of course, it’s not uncommon — in certain circles — to serve wine at breakfast. Even though it’s highly rare in the U.S., many Western Europeans still serve wine at breakfast (here in America we go straight for the hard stuff with the vodka in our bloody marys, the gin in our gin and tonics, and the tequila in our tequila sunrises).
Once in a blue moon, even we serve wine for breakfast: Christmas morning when we stay over with my in-laws. I can’t think of a wine that works better (and I speak from experience) than Moscato d’Asti, with its low alcohol, its freshness, and its natural sweetness. Strawberry pancakes and Moscato d’Asti? Belgian waffles and Moscato d’Asti? Classic Mexican sweet breads? Muffins and scones? Even just your classic English muffin with jam… they all go great with Moscato d’Asti.