Asti Spumanti Wine Information
A non-Champagne sparkling wine, Asti spumanti comes from the Turin region of Italy and is very popular with new wine drinkers. Asti spumanti is Italy's second most produced wine, with "clones" produced in California and other locations. It is a sweet-to-semi-sweet dessert wine. Some people prefer asti to French Champagne because of asti's sweetness and easy drinking qualities.
Asti is a "DOCG" wine, meaning it is regulated as to what grapes can be used in it, and what areas can create an Asti Spumanti. The DOCG rating system for Asti was set up in 1993. The Asti DOCG rating requires:
- D.O.C.G. STATUS: 1993
- GRAPE: Moscato bianco (white Moscato)
- MAXIMUM PRODUCED AMOUNT: 100 quintals grapes per hectare.
- COLOR: from straw yellow to pale golden yellow
- PERLAGE: fine and persistent
- BOUQUET: fragrant, of Moscato grapes
- TASTE: sweet, aromatic and chatacteristic
- LIMPIDITY: brilliant
- OVERALL MINIMUM ALCOHOL LEVEL: 11 degrees with minimum 4.5 degrees of reduced alcohol.
Martini & Rossi, the leading producer of asti spumanti, cranks out 21 million bottles annually of this fine alcohol. It was first named "Moscato Champagne", but by the time it came over to the US (1930s) they changed the name.
Asti spumanti is made from Muscat Canelli grapes. Asti is the town that actually supplies the grapes, while "Spuma" means "foam". Asti Spumanti is a light yellow color, and is sweeter than typical French Champagne. It should be served in a tall, thin glass to preserve its bubbles.
Asti spumanti goes very well with sweet desserts - a dish of strawberries, a sweet peach pie. It is the perfect summertime drink - light and sweet! Asti spumanti should be served at 41F, which is almost out-of-the-fridge temperature.
Asti Spumanti is a drink now wine. It is not meant for aging. It will not go "bad" if it's old, it just will not taste as good.
Sparkling Wines by Region
Champagne - from France
Cava - from Spain
Sekt - from Germany
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