Friday, August 10, 2007

Unoaked Bubbles: Moscato

This week we've been celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the wine blogosphere's most popular event, Wine Blogging Wednesday. The theme for this month's tasting was unoaked chardonnay, and I decided to feature unoaked wines all week. First up was an unoaked pinot noir, then an unoaked chardonnay. But what celebration would be complete without a little sparkle?

Most sparkling wine undergo some time in the barrel, but there's one sparkler that never seems to get wooded, and that's sparkling moscato. This is not a big, complex, bubbly wine. Nor is it a dry wine. But if you are looking for something off-dry and slightly sparkling, moscato can be a very good choice. Made from the muscat canelli or moscato bianco varietal, the most famous are made in the region surrounding Asti, but I tried a local moscato made in Mendocino County, and it had very good QPR.

The 2006 Enotria Moscato (available from merchants for between $12 and $15) is made by the Graziano Family of winemakers. The wine is a pale, watery gold in color and as with most well-made moscatos, the first thing that hits you are the aromas of flowers and citrus fruit. The flavors of peach and lemon accent these wonderful aromatics which fill your head with every sip and transport you to summer, no matter what time of year. This wine is off-dry, but a strong core of acidity kept it in good balance. Its slight effervescence was not as fizzy as Italian versions of this wine that I've had. With only 10% alcohol by volume it can serve as a stand-alone sipper or as a dessert wine. I can't honestly think of a good food option, with the possible exception of peach cobbler. It would be fantastic with that. I just drank it on its own, and enjoyed every mildly intoxicating sip.

In addition to its low alcohol, a moscato like this is perfect for summertime drinking because it benefits from having a good chill. If you are sweating in the summer heat, try to find a bottle of this refreshing wine, pop it in the fridge for an hour, and then sit outside in the evening and sip a glass. Instant coolness.

Happy Birthday, Wine Blogging Wednesday. Here's to a great 4th year, and many more years to come.

8 comments:

Pamela said...

Happy 3rd anniversary to wine blogging Wednesday Dr. Deb's! …and I wish you many more years to come :)

Anonymous said...

10% alcohol? The few Italian Moscatos I've tasted have al been around 5%. Why so high in this Mendocino wine?

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks, Pamela! I don't know about the alchohol, Anonymous. Presumably the fruit was picked at a riper stage. All the moscato I've had was between 7-9% alc/vol, so I've never had one as low alc as the ones you've had.

David said...

sounds good! I've enjoyed several other good ones from Graziano, a good zin comes to mind, I think I've also had their Sangiovese.

Sonadora said...

Overachiever ;)!

Dr. Debs said...

David, now I wish I'd picked up the zin and sangiovese when I had the chance. And yes, Sonadora, that's the essence of me ;)

tish said...

I have had a few California Muscats/Moscatos and find they can vary widely in style. Italian Moscato d'Asti is consistently fizzy and low alc (5.5%), and so peachy you can't believe it is made solely from grapes. FYI, theere is an excellent kosher Muscat made by Golan; St Supery makes a great non-sparkling Calif Moscato; and Muscat is (I believe) the only table grape that also makes decent wine. It's all about the sugar!

Dr. Debs said...

Welcome back, Tish. I've had that St. Supery--it is really nice, and after you get used to a moscato without bubbles it is a good dessert wine. I've had Italian Moscato and the lowest mine have been is 6%, so I didn't know the alcohol could be that low.