Apertivo or Dessert Wein?
The Moscato grape variety has a long tradition in Piedmont and plays an important role in the Piedmontese wine landscape. The Moscato Bianco as a grape variety is one of the oldest varieties in Italy and has its origins in the Mediterranean region. The name Moscato is believed to have been derived from musk, because that name points to the high sugar content and the unique aroma of this grape variety. As early as the 17th century, the Turin Agricultural Society listed Moscato Bianco as one of the Piedmontese grape varieties that produce the best quality wines.
However, Moscato Bianco's real breakthrough came in the 19th century, when Carlo Gancia, from the Gancia winery in Canelli, learned techniques for making sparkling wines in the Champagne region. He used what he learned and applied these techniques to produce a sweet Moscato. It was an enormous success and the triumph of Asti Spumante and Moscato D'Asti began.
After the recognition of the Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin (DOCG) "Asti" in 1993, ASTI DOCG and MOSCATO d'ASTI were identified as two different historical manifestations of the same grape variety. MOSCATO d'ASTI DOCG is one of the most characteristic products of the Piedmontese wine tradition.
The wine has a distinctive, intense musky aroma and a delicate taste reminiscent of wisteria, linden, peaches and apricots with hints of sage, lemon and orange blossom. It has a certain amount of residual sugar and a low alcohol content.
The MOSCATO d'ASTI DOCG is not a sparkling wine and should not be confused with the Asti DOCG. It is only partially fermented in pressure tanks and fermentation is stopped when the desired alcohol content, usually 5% ABV, is reached. By using the cold chain during production, the aromas and flavors of the grapes are preserved and the product can be stabilized and prepared for storage or transport. A key difference between the two wines is that only the ripest and most aromatic grapes are used to make Moscato D'Asti. Since the carbonation pressure of the Moscato D'Asti is much lower than that of the Asti DOCG, it doesn't need a champagne cork either, but gets by with a normal cork stopper.
Perfect with sweet and savoury dishes
Traditionally considered a desert wine, Moscato D'Asti goes well with dry pastries and nut and apple tarts. However, for the last decade it has also been offered as an aperitif in wine bars around the world. With its low alcohol content, the Moscato is perfect today's zeitgeist. It is also ideal as an aperitif, because its aromas and invigorating fruitiness keep the sweetness within limits and cushion it, so to speak.
The MOSCATO d'ASTI can be considered one of the most aromatic white wines in Italy and is one of the most important wines of Piedmont . MOSCATO d'ASTI is one of the few wines in which the sensory characteristics of the grapes remain unchanged thanks to a soft pressing and an incomplete alcoholic fermentation. In this way, the aromas and taste of the freshly picked grapes go straight into the wine glass.