Its almost summer, never mind that we are struggling through a winter laced spring, just keep your mind open that summer is almost here (as Disney said, if you can dream it…) This is an excellent time to stock up on good summer wine. Enter the D’asti (s)
D’asti/ Asti wines are generally dessert wines that taste fabulous with everything; as a meal accompaniment or with sweet desserts, the fizz and low alcohol levels make both wines very appealing and indulgent. From the North-western region of Italy, the Asti/D’Asti is beautifully blended, enriched in sweet floral notes and fruit notes of peaches, apricots, apples and Moscato Bianco grapes found in vineyards in the Asti region.
Where labelled Asti it is indicative of the old Spumante family- Asti Spumante, still made from Moscato Bianco grapes, still sparkling, still sweet but the proof is in the fizz- the Asti is superior in fizz, has an alcohol content of about 9% (the San Leo is 7%) and is dry. D’Asti is sweeter because more grapes are used in its production and are riper than those used for the Asti, has a lower alcohol level that enhances its sweetness and a low fizz ratio compared to the Asti. (Asti- Spumante; four atmospheres of pressure, d’Asti- Frizzante; one atmosphere of pressure).
Having tried two varieties, Bricco Cardogno Moscato D’Asti and San Leo Asti, both on sale at every good wine retailer or larger supermarkets with a wine section, I prefer the Cardogno d’Asti because it has a refreshing finish (obviously because I’m also a sweet tooth). The San Leo is still sweet but the finish coarser and the after taste not so pleasant; the sparkle and alcohol levels do nothing to compensate for the acidity. With the d’Asti the finish is smoother with a sweeter more mellow after taste and very low level acidity. Either way, both are very fine and fun wines, especially for the spring summer seasons and will work excellently well with desserts, especially rich tasting desserts that would benefit from a light balance.