Moscato d'Asti: Sweet Bubbles from Bacchus
Ciao, I'm a bottle of delicious wine!
If Bacchus, the ancient god of wine, intoxication, and pleasure, were hanging out in his fancy Temple in Rome today, he'd probably be sipping on a glass (or chugging a bottle?) of Moscato d'Asti, that fine sparkling delight of a dessert wine from the province of Asti (and also Cuneo and Alessandria) in northwest Italy.
Moscato d'Asti, which has protected status in Italy, is derived from the white muscat grape, known in Italian as moscato bianco. It's also used in that ever more popular wine known as Asti Spumante. Moscato bianco is highly aromatic, sweet, and has an ancient viticultural history in Italy. So much so that Bacchus himself likely considered the grape a staple in Italy.
My most recent venture into the wonderland of Moscato d'Asti took place via a bottle of Tranchero Osvaldo, a 2009 vintage, pictured here. Tranchero Osvaldo is located in Mango, Italy, in the heart of Cuneo, home to a perfect climate for growing moscato bianco. What a fantastic bottle of wine! Good thing I have another waiting, though I fear it won't be around for long.
Planning a nice dinner with friends or family? Have an especially delicious dessert you'd like to enhance with a wine? Then let me suggest that you follow Bacchus to his Temple. He drinks all the time, so no worries about when you show up.