Moscato d’Asti for New Year’s Day


It’s a wonderful way to start the new year on a sweet note.

Even though my wife and I aren’t Italian, we both lived in Italy for years (before we knew each other). A lot of folks know that I speak Italian, but not everyone knows that Tracie, my wife, also speaks Italian — really well. And of course, it’s only natural that we cook Italian at home using recipes and traditions that we learned while living in the Bel Paese.

One of those cherished culinary traditions is eating leftover, stale panettone and pandoro on New Year’s Day morning. Perhaps it’s because of our well known Italophilia: So many of our friends and colleagues give us delicious panettone and pandoro during the holidays. We’re not complaining, don’t get me wrong. But there’s always a healthy surplus of the sweet Italian holiday cakes by the time New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day roll around.

And so on New Year’s Day morning we put them to good use: We slice them into medium-to-thin slices and toast them. But because they tend to be dry to begin with and even drier once they come out of the oven, we served them topped with rich zabaione. And I’m not talking about just any old zabaione. No, at our house we serve it exclusively with zabaione al Moscato d’Asti, which is convenient because we always serve a bottle of Moscato d’Asti — actually more than one — with dessert on New Year’s Eve.

It’s really easy to make zabaione al Moscato d’Asti: You just whisk egg yolks, sugar, and Moscato d’Asti in a double boiler (a bain-marie, as some folks call it) until you obtain the desired consistency. Some people add a little bit of Marsala but at our house we only use Moscato d’Asti.

It’s a wonderful way to start the new year on a sweet note.

Happy new year, everyone! Thank you for being here in 2019. Wishing you and yours a Moscato d’Asti year filled with sweetness!

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Jeremy Parzen
After obtaining his Ph.D. in Italian literature at U.C.L.A. in 1997, Jeremy Parzen moved to New York City where he shifted his focus to food and wine. By 1998, he was the chief wine writer for the English-language edition of La Cucina Italiana. In 2005, he published his annotated translation of Maestro Martino's 15th century cookery book, The Art of Cooking (University of California Press). In 2007, he launched his blog (named after the Venetian expression for two glasses of white wine). Since that time, he has published countless articles on Italian food and wine, including bylines for publications like Decanter and Wine and Spirits, which named him a "Master of Place" in 2017. Known for his humanist perspective onto the world of Italian enogastronomy, he works as wine and restaurant industry consultant from his home office in Houston, where he and his wife Tracie (a native Texan) are raising their two daughters. A former rock musician and songwriter, Jeremy continues to compose and record music with and for his family. He was honored to be named an Italian Association of Wine Merchants ambassador in 2018 for his "profound scholarship in the humanities, his great knowledge of winemaking, and his excellence in communications."


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