Questions for Moscato d’Asti producers

few questions for moscato consumer

…I wish more American wine professionals would take time out to think about how the wines we buy and drink “sustain” other communities.

As I’ve mentioned previously here on the blog, next week I’ll be leading a guiding tasting of Moscato d’Asti wines here in Houston with some of the appellation’s top producers.
(The tasting and seminar will take place next Wednesday, May 15 at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse; it’s open only to trade. Please click here for details and registration info.)

As they usually do at events like this, the organizers asked me to submit questions for the producer beforehand.
As strange as it may sound, it’s not an easy task to come up with questions that are topical, relevant, and meaningful. Not everyone in attendance will have had a lot of experience with Moscato d’Asti and so the questions can’t be too technical. But I also want them not to be banal and I hope they will lead to stimulating conversation.

Here are my questions and my reasoning behind them.

-Please tell us something about how Moscato d’Asti was served and what is was paired with in Piedmont in the past. Have things changed?
I believe it’s really important for wine professionals to have an understanding of how wines are served in the country of origin.

-Moscato d’Asti is produced entirely “in reduction.” How does that make it one of the world’s most unique sparkling wines?
Sparkling wine production remains a mystery to even some of the most prepared professionals. Moscato d’Asti is one of the world’s most unique sparkling wines because of how it is made.

-A lot of wine professionals don’t realize that Moscato d’Asti is 100 percent “family grown.” Can you talk about some of the long-term generational relationships between growers and producers?
I think a lot of the tasters will be surprised to learn this.

-No one is more aware of climate change than grape growers. Can you talk about the shift in harvest times? When did your grandparents pick? When do you pick?
As for every wine, the moment of picking is crucial.

-Monferrato and Asti province are among the most beautiful places on earth. But what about its economic model? Moscato d’Asti has given a livelihood to generations of wine growers. Can you talk about Moscato d’Asti as a model for other wine regions in terms of sustainability?
I wish more American wine professionals would take time out to think about how the wines we buy and drink “sustain” other communities.

I’ll report back on what the producers and the wine professionals have to say in an upcoming post!

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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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