2011 Soria Bruno Cascina del Santuario Moscato d’Asti

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Moscato d’Asti is an Italian sparkling white wine made from a white variety of Muscat grapes called Muscato Bianco. It’s typically thought of as a desert wine due to it’s sweetness and low alcohol content (5.5% in this case) however I also think it can work as an aperitif. Here’s where it gets slightly confusing:

Asti: A region of Italy in Piedmont; Also a sparkling white wine made from Muscato Bianco

Moscato d’Asti: Like Asti (the wine) however less sparkling and less alcohol. Also made from Muscato Bianco.

Aperitif: Alcoholic beverages normally served before a meal.

As you can see Asti can refer to the region of Asti or the sparkling white wine. I have no idea why they decided to do it that way but they did and now we have to deal with it. What’s the difference between Moscato d’Asti, Asti, and Champagne? Two things: First, Champagne can only come from the Champagne region in France, regardless of the wine itself. Second, the true difference is the way the wine gets it’s sparkling properties. Champagne uses secondary fermentation and Asti wines use the Charmat method. It’s a long and detailed story describing the methods but if you’re ever curious look them up!

We decided to open this bottle as an aperitif on Christmas eve since two of our guests are not into non-sweet wines (I’ll have to work on that). We enjoyed some nice honey goat cheese and crackers and the wine was great:

MobyGrape: 89. I thoroughly enjoyed this guy!  I tend to enjoy
the sweeter varities of sparkling wines, and this was just sweet
enough without being overbearing, and wasn’t too fizzy so it was
perfectly fine to have with appetizers or really light meals.  It was
the Goldie Locks of sparkling wine for the evening.  Just right.  I
feel like this would pair well with french toast, and it’s light
enough to enjoy with a nice brunch.

colonelgrape: 85. Full disclaimer: I am not a huge sparkling wine fan as we know so take my rating with a grain of salt. That being said…this Moscato d’Asti was quite good. I liked how it was only semi-sparkling compared with Champagne or Asti…sometimes the bubbles are too much for me, I don’t even like soda that much. It had nice fruit notes and was very mild. I personally prefer Port, Sauternes, or Ice Wine for my desert wines but this would do nicely and it worked well as an aperitif. I don’t think I’d want it with a meal though, it’s so mild I think it would be overpowered easily.

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