A… Dry Moscato?

Moscato is an extraordinarily aromatic, extraordinarily sweet grape that is used primarily to make sweet wines: Piemonte’s Moscato D’Asti and its more industrial cousin, Asti, and a host of Moscati Passiti from all over Italy. Few people make dry versions, and therefore when Gianfelice d’Alfonso del Sordo told me he was introducing a dry Moscato called Dammisole I couldn’t help but perk up my ears and ask for a sample.

I’m glad I did; it’s a very interesting wine, and while not bone dry — the sugar content of Moscato grapes is such that I rather think that it would be impossible to ferment it to complete dryness without running into problems with alcohol content (Dammisole is 14.5%) — it certainly qualifies as a dry wine, and will also I think be rather versatile, because the combination of fruit, interesting acidity, and slight sweetness will allow it to work well with spicier dishes, including those of the Oriental cuisines.

D’Alfonso del Sordo Dammisole Moscato Bianco Secco IGT Puglia 2011
Lot 163 12
Delicate gold with brilliant golden reflections; it draws from its name and looks like the sun in a glass. The bouquet is rich and sweet, with honey and honeydew melon  mingled with honeysuckle and some candied citrus peel – almost candied melon rind – acidity, something that provides direction but does not disturb the rich sweet cast of the bouquet . Classic Moscato. On the palate it’s bright, and fresh, and dry but not bone dry, with bright citrussy honeydew melon  fruit supported by moderate sweet accents (it is a Moscato) that confer roundness, and a slight tannic burr that provides backbone and power, flowing into a honey laced finish that gives way to citrussy honeydew melon notes and a slightly savory tannic underpinning that continues at length. It’s quite fresh, with all the rich aromatic complexity one expects from Moscato on the nose, and lively freshness on the palate that one might not expect if one has not had a dry Moscato before. It’s a wine that will be fairly versatile, working well with fish, and also with oriental dishes whose spicing will interact nicely with the hints of sweetness the wine displays, and I would also be tempted to serve it with fresh — not aged — cheeses because its acidity will balance the richness of the cheese, keeping the latter from becoming cloying.

It’s an interesting and different wine of a sort I’d be happy to encounter more of.


D’Alfonso Del Sordo’s Site


About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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One Response to A… Dry Moscato?

  1. silver price says:

    Pink moscato is really different from all other pink or red wine available in the marketplace. They are very acidic, a good trait for wines to have, and are usually quite dry. There are two basic approaches to purchase the right type of wine to suit the type of food that you are eating: as-a-like and contrast. The approach entails finding a delicate balance between the flavor and textures of the food and wine. You can think of the food and wine combination in terms of weight or color. A lemon cake with pink moscato deliver a spicy and sweet flavor to the mouth while roasted lamb or beef produces an exquisite taste when savored together with the wine. As they say, choice of ingredients determine the quality of the wine. A fine glass of pink moscato can only be produced using fresh grapes plucked directly from the gardens of Italy.

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