I’ll be honest, I’m not really a sweet wine person. Except Vin Santo. Or a really good Sagrantino passito. Or an occasional sweeter Torrontes. Or a good Double Cream Sherry… oh, ok, turns out, I AM a sweet wine lover.
But THIS wine is a little bit different. Most of the wines listed above are after dinner wines (aka, “dessert:” I’ll take a glass of Sagrantino passito over dessert any day!). This Il Conte d’Alba Moscato d’Asti is a sparkling wine that should be served before dinner or with lighter courses… or, just drunk by itself on any random “Sunday Funday.” I don’t need an excuse to drink sparkling wine.
Now that you know WHY you should drink it, let’s talk about WHAT you are drinking by breaking down the often confusing Italian wine labels.
The label: Il Conte d’Alba Moscato d’Asti DOCG
Il Conte d’Alba: The “house” (company or family) that makes the wine. Its translation is “The Count of Alba.”
Moscato d’Asti: A white wine from Asti, which is located in the region of Piedmont. The wine is made from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes.
DOCG: The government designation given to the wine, meaning that this particular wine was made under strict government regulations and is a prime example of a “classic” style wine from this region. (For more on the Italian classification system, see The Italian Wine Classification System.)
Got it? So basically, you’re drinking a 100% Moscato wine from the North of Italy, made in the classic style from this region.
But what about the flavors????
Moscato d’Asti is known for being slightly sweet. It is often drunk as a dessert wine and served with pannettone, fruit tarts, or pastries. But it can also be served as an aperitif (before dinner drink) which is how I prefer to enjoy it. The wine is known for its freshness, floral aromas, and flavors of peaches and apricots. It smells as delicious as it tastes, and the slightly-sparkling quality is palate cleansing and encourages you to have another sip… and another… but don’t worry, it’s low in alcohol, so you can have a few glasses. And since the wine is around $10 a bottle, you can afford to buy another glass, should your first one miraculously go empty!
Whether you drink this wine with dessert, as an aperitif, or with your Sunday brunch, I hope that you enjoy its light, delicate flavors as much as I do. And I hope that your company when you drink it is as good as mine was the last time I enjoy a bottle!