The season of gratitude is quickly approaching, and we’re feeling particularly thankful this year for the Piedmontese winemakers who’ve brought two of Italy’s most celebrated Moscato wines to the rest of the world. The lively Asti Spumante and the unique Moscato d’Asti are both made with 100% Moscato Bianco grapes. Each wine has a different vinification process that enhances the aromatic character of the Moscato grape. The resulting wines are both perfect choices for all your seasonal celebrations, including the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
The Moscato Bianco is one of the oldest grape varieties grown in the Piedmont region, tracing its popularity among winemakers back to the Middle Ages. It was during the Italian Renaissance that Moscato truly began to shine – the wine became a favourite among aristocrats and royalty, adorning the tables of the elite and symbolizing luxury and refinement. Thanks to innovations in modern winemaking, the elegant Moscato wines are attainable to enjoy at every kind of celebration, big or small.
The Asti Vibe
A lightly-sparkling Moscato representative of the Piedmont region, Asti Spumante is a straw-yellow colour and has a gentle, persistent fizz. The wine’s fresh aroma is rich with floral fragrances and notes of ripe fruit, of which the most easily-recognized are acacia, wisteria, orange, bergamot, sage and lemon. With its natural sweetness and delicate balance, the frizzante Moscato d’Asti is an exemplary model of Italian winemaking tradition. This low-alcohol wine has an intense bouquet that presents notes of elderberry, yarrow, bergamot, acacia, wisteria, orange and mountain honey. A lightly-spiced undertone finishes off the iconic Italian frizzante.
What’s the difference between Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti?
The key difference between Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti lies in the fermentation process, which, for Moscato d’Asti, is halted when the wine reaches an alcohol content of about 5% by volume. In addition, though Moscato d’Asti is not technically a sparkling wine, it nevertheless retains enough light effervescence to classify as a semi-sparkling. The two wines remain similar in their inherent sweetness and closely-related aromatic profiles, and together they complement similar foods.
The Consorzio Asti DOCG
Asti is a DOCG – a Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin – product, meaning it can only be produced authentically in a designated geographical region, using techniques approved by a governing body (in this case, the Consorzio Asti DOCG.) There are 51 Northern Italian communes that are legally allowed to grow moscato grapes to make Asti and Moscato d’Asti.
It all takes place under the watchful eye of the Consorzio Asti DOCG, which plays a pivotal role in safeguarding and promoting the quality and heritage of Asti DOCG wines. Comprising vinegrowers, winemakers and other experts, the consortium upholds stringent production standards and ensures adherence to approved techniques. The DOCG was officially established in 1993, and 30 years later, the iconic Moscatos are more popular than ever.
For Canadians getting ready to celebrate with loved ones, toasting with an Asti DOCG wine is a sure way to make flavour memories that last forever.
4 perfect pairings for the Asti Vibe
Whether you’re hosting a large number of guests or simply enjoying a quiet date night at home, Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti pair perfectly with the flavours of autumn and Thanksgiving.
More than just a dessert wine, bright, flavourful Moscato pairs well with savoury treats. Before dinner, serve guests cured meats and a selection of cheeses on a charcuterie board. Try prosciutto, figs, smoked almonds and a creamy Brie cheese. The wetness and effervescence of both wines perfectly counterbalance the saltiness and richness of the food. Similarly, the fruity tasting notes create a distinct but complementary contrast.
Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti shine with seafood, and complement everything from freshly-grilled fish to delicate oysters on the half shell. The aromas and acidity of both Asti DOCG wines effortlessly cut through the robust flavours of seafood, making them the perfect accompaniment for a pescetarian-friendly holiday table.
The light sweetness of Moscato wines balances out foods with opposing flavours, including spicy dishes like pasta with arrabiata sauce, chicken curry or spicy salmon sushi rolls.
No Thanksgiving is complete without a special dessert – and sparkling wine, of course. Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti are the ideal dessert wines. Their natural sugars meld seamlessly with the sweetness of traditional fruit tarts and pies, and their refreshing bubbles cleanse the palate between bites. Don’t forget about rich, creamy desserts as well: The flavours and lightly-sparkling nature of Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti harmonize with everything from creme brûlée to chocolate mousse.