Oh I’m getting seriously annoyed, ladies, with hearing yet again “Oh no! I don’t like sweet wine”, or “Oh it is sweet? No thank you!” Why? I don’t understand. We all love chocolate, cakes, fruity cocktails and by nature we are designed to love sweet stuff. For goodness sake, it is in our genetic make-up to love sugar!
Ok, I know, I have a tendency to rant. I’m stopping it right now. It’s not the purpose of this article to make you all annoyed, but actually to convince you to try something new. I’m a huge fun of slightly sweet wines. I love the Rieslings, Loirian Vouvrey, good Pinot Gris, some of Rosés d’Anjou, etc. I think they are fun and seriously underrated.
So today will be about one of those: Muscato d’Asti – one of my favourite summer wines ever!
Astis are usually slightly sweet, semi sparkling and low in alcohol, which makes them the perfect choice for a summer garden party but also as an apéritif or dessert wine. If you are considering a picnic in the park with your girlfriends I think at least one bottle of decent Asti should be in your basket, along with strawberries and cheesecake. The fact that Astis are usually only 11% or less alcohol, (often between 7-9%) is a bonus, because you can sip it throughout the afternoon without getting too drunk in the summer heat. One of my favorites is Gemma Muscato d’Asti sold by Oddbins, but there are plenty of others on the market that you may want to try, such as Cà d’Gal, Vigna Vecchia and Moscato d’Asti Vallebelbo NV.
What you are looking for is a really fresh, mouth-watering, semi-sweet wine with some bubbles. The classic flavours in good Asti should be both fruity and floral. You should be able to easily detect aromas of elderflower and jasmine, and there should be an abundance of white grape juice flavours, peach, pineapple and passion fruit. Sometimes, as in the Asti Cà d’Gal or Vigna, there will be flavours of ripe gooseberries and sweet apple, or lemon curd. Sounds good? Sure, because it’s a light fruity dessert in a glass! Fun and pleasure for bargain prices. The Asti Gemma is only £8 (Oddbins), though the others can run up to £14 a bottle.