Moscato, the slightly sweet, effervescent, low alcohol grape of Northern Italy is the fastest growing wine category, with sales up nearly 80% since 2010. In her article 'Why You'll Be Drinking Moscato This Year' the Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague wrote that "The hottest wine of 2012 will be Moscato. Just like it was in 2011." They are crisp and lively, with notes of honeysuckle, stone fruit, mango, and an overall floral essence. "A beguiling and seductive drink" says Teague.
Today's featured wine is from one of Italy's top producers of the varietal - Azienda Agricola Rinaldi. Robert Parker, the wine world's most trusted and recognized taster gave this "gloriously fresh", "quintessential fun wine" a 91 point rating in a recent issue of his Wine Advocate publication. "Pure spring flowers, fresh pineapple, honeysuckle, peach and apricot...all soar from the glass" he wrote in his notes. The wine is very low in alcohol and will be sure to please when served as an aperitif or with desert at the end of large meal. Parker jokes that the wines are light enough to drink with breakfast. I can imagine the slight sweetness and crisp acidity pairing well with a spinach and goat-cheese omelette.
This is a classic example of the variety, not an overly sweet version as often found in large formats at big-box stores. Of this wine, and moscato in general, Robert Parker notes that "their aromatics are stunning, and no one does a better job making these wines than Rinaldi." The 2011 Rinaldi Moscato d'Asti 'Bug Juice' has a suggested retail price of $20, Empire Wine is offering this fantastic, easy drinking white for just $13.95 with shipping included when purchased by the case!