Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante

It turns out that today is National Moscato Day, which was created last year by American wine makers the Gallo Family Vineyards, according to the blog The Daily Grid ” to encourage people to taste the fruity wine and open the conversation about Moscato.” According to this article from About.com, the wine itself is made from the Moscato grape, the Muscat Blanc, which is native to the Piedmont area in the Northwest of Italy. It’s full title is Moscato D’Asti. It is primarily considered a dessert wine, though it is also served with hard cheese or antipasti courses as well.

“Moscato is known for its surprising perfume-like fragrance, light-body, semi-sparkling, spritzy character (frizzante), lower alcohol content (typically to the tune of the around 5-8% abv) and its dazzling fruit-forward palate profile with a welcoming sweet factor. The wine’s color steers towards straw yellow with occasional tinges of gold. While the Moscato sold at the lower price points typically exhibit a fruity focus with a decent dose of sweet in the mix, the higher quality Moscato steers quite clear of sugar-soaked fruit and brings a vivid spotlight to ripe stonefruit, with apricots, peaches and an intoxicating florality eager to steal the show.”

The above kind (Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante) just happens to be my favorite, and I started drinking it before it got all fashionable over here in the States. Apparently it has replaced Cristal as the drink of choice for rappers. My parents would pop a bottle every New Year’s Eve, as a much tastier (in my opinion) and cheaper alternative to champagne, and I got my first official taste of it when I was 12. I really fell in love with it while doing my study aboard to Italy, as it was right before they switched to the Euro, so things were still really cheap. You could get a bottle of it for about $5 so needless to say, it was my drink of choice. It normally runs about $15-20 here, so my hubby and I tend to save it for special occasions. However, you can find a decent bottle of Moscato in the States for about $5-10, so on the rare occasion that we drink wine, we tend to go for the American versions of it.

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