“Light in alcohol and strong on flavor, [bottlings of Moscato d’Asti] are the ultimate party wines, but they can be remarkably nuanced and terroir-specific, too”.
This week, I decided to take a break from our series on creative-vs.-traditional food and wine pairings to bring to your attention an important article on Moscato d’Asti that appeared last month on one of the most widely followed tasting note portals in the world — Antonio Galloni’s Vinous.com. The Delightful Lightness of Being was written by Ian D’Agata, who most in the Italian wine trade consider to be one of the field’s leading authorities, top tasters, and best writers and educators.
Not only is D’Agata the author of Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press 2014), a book that I highly recommend to you, the easy-to-search version I use nearly every single day, but he is also one of the most active and engaged lecturers on Italian wine in the world. On nearly any given day, you can find him leading guided tastings in Italy or north America, where he travels regularly to deliver well-attended talks and lead tasting seminars across the United States.
(And by the way, even though Vinous.com is a subscription-only site, D’Agata’s article, including a tide of tasting notes, is available to all, for free, on the site)
In what is surely to be remembered as one of the definitive articles and “moments” of the Moscato d’Asti renaissance, he writes:
“Light in alcohol and strong on flavor, [bottlings of Moscato d’Asti] are the ultimate party wines, but they can be remarkably nuanced and terroir-specific, too. At their best, the wines offer aromas and flavors of orange blossom, pear, peach, sage, vanilla and other sweet spices, and are an absolute joy to drink on their own, as aperitifs or with fruit and cream-based desserts.”
Chock full of information and wine geek-focused technical insights into how Moscato d’Asti is produced and how, why, where, and when to drink and pair it, this piece should be required reading for any self-respecting Italian wine professional.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.