Moscato d’Asti, the aromatic, lightly sparkling, sweet wine made in Piemonte, pairs perfectly with dessert. That’s why I was so skeptical about pairing it with bacon – for breakfast.
And that’s why Valerie from Girls Gotta Drink was so keen to prove that Moscato d’Asti is just as good with the salty as it is with the sweet.
On a hot June day in Neive, a fun, mixed group of winemakers and locals sat down to a full English breakfast with Moscato d’Asti.
Did you know?
Moscato d’Asti is not technically a sparkling wine, but a vino frizzante, or fizzy wine. That’s because it gets its bubbles from interrupted fermentation, whereas spumante and Metodo Classico wines go through a secondary fermentation. Sounds complicated? Read more about sparkling wines and Moscato of Piemonte here: 13 Things to Know about Piemonte's Sparkling Wines
As we waited for the bacon to finish cooking, wafting its savory scent through the open kitchen door to the covered patio outside, we went Piemontese first: a tagliere (cutting board) of bread and salumi, and a bakery-made torta della nocciola (hazelnut cake). Delicious!
Moscato is also great in cocktails. Jeffrey Chilcott (Marchesi di Gresy) mixed up some ice-cold drinks that hit the spot: just stir in Moscato, Campari, and any sort of citrus juice (orange, blood orange, even pink grapefruit juice work great), and serve over ice.
The full English breakfast was classic: homemade baked beans, sausage, bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and your choice of ketchup or brown sauce, which is very popular in England (it’s similar to barbecue sauce without three cups of sugar).
We passed around two labels of Moscato: Moscato d'Asti DOCG 2014 by Demarie, and Moscato d'Asti 2014 "101" by Ca' del Baio. I loved tasting the different types with the breakfast menu. Though both wines were traditional Moscato d'Asti – with aromas of white flowers, apricot, and peach, light and sweet on the palate with a touch of acidity and a fine perlage – they were both unmistakably unique. And they both paired exceptionally well with the English breakfast. That light fizz and lemony bite cut through the fattiness of the bacon; and the sweetness was perfect with the savory sausage and mushrooms. Sweet ‘n’ salty.
Drinking more than half a glass of wine at lunch makes me sort of useless for the rest of the day. But that’s another reason why Moscato is perfect for lunch (to be clear, we did not drink wine at 8:00 am; we ate a full English breakfast menu at lunchtime). Its interrupted fermentation means it has a lower percentage of alcohol, usually just around 5%.
Moscato d'Asti: fizzy, lightly sweet, perfectly cool, and refreshing. Cheers to the summer!
#MoscatoForBreakfast menu by Girls Gotta Drink
A special thanks to Darryl and Lesley Baldwin for their hospitality and great cooking – the English breakfast was delicious! Also to producers Demarie, Marchesi di Gresy, Ca' del Baio, and Stella, who brought their wines for all to taste. And of course to Val & Evan for organizing the event!
I love Piemonte’s food and wine, the city of Turin, and my proximity to the Alps! My goal and challenge is to see as much of the region as possible using public transportation, but if you have a car I’d appreciate the ride. My intro to wine was at the Univ. of Gastronomic Sciences, and I love visiting family wineries, plus discovering Piemonte's craft beer scene. I’m hard-pressed to choose a favorite wine, but Nebbiolo never disappoints (from Barbaresco to Ghemme). As for beer, the Birrificio San Michele makes an incredible beechwood smoked brew.