Meet the Whites: Moscato


Moscato d'Asti

A couple New Years’ ago I walked into our local ABC Liquors and asked for something sparkling that wasn’t Brut. The very helpful clerk brought me back to the Italian imports section and pointed out several possible wines, one of which was a Moscato d’Asti, with which we happily rung in the new year. Since then it’s gone from the back of the store to boxes in the aisles of Wal-Mart, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be dismissed out of hand.

It’s like the elephant in the room, these days: Moscato has become a major player in accessible wine, even rappers think so.

Really? Drake and Diddy love it, so now it’s credible? At least that’s how NPR seemed to spin it/suggest back in January. *shudder*

Without sounding overly-hipster about it (because I am nothing like a hipster in any other sense), that last bit is almost enough to make me stop drinking it. Almost, but not quite.

Originally a dessert wine, Moscato has become much more mainstream. A favorite among bloggers (or maybe just well-marketed), and it’s even gotten my sister-in-law to try wine, so as a gateway white I’ll gladly accept it over the White Zinfandel that used to hold the title.

We’ve never been wine snobs, here, and always love a bargain. Sideways meant our beloved Pinot Noir was easier to find,  and the same goes for Moscato and it’s pop-culture love affair.

Since it IS sweet, it’s a perfect pairing for desserts, but also goes well with rich cream sauces, citrus and even spicy dishes, too. While I prefer to sip it over the course of an evening, cooking is another option to use up any leftovers. I probably wouldn’t put it in my risotto if I had another option (though I’ve used sweet wines in risotto before, with some interesting results), but a splash into a dessert sauce or as a vinaigrette with olive oil and lemon, I think that could be very nice.

And just so you know, that very affordable Bella Bole’ Moscato d’Asti goes fabulously with Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. I assure you, it was a very thorough investigation.