Asti Spumante (traditional or classic method) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced in the southeastern Piedmont, concentrated around the cities of Asti and Alessandria, but also near Cuneo.
Photo Credits: Megan Allen
Since 1993 it has been classified as a Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG).
Made from the Moscato Bianco grape, Asti Spumante is sweet and low in alcohol. In fact, it is the perfect wine of the sweet occasions and to toast after a meal. It accompanies desserts and is very suitable with fruit, as it has hints of acacia flowers, wisteria, peach and apricot.
Photo Credits: Asti DOCG
Asti Spumante’s organoleptic characteristics are a persistent froth, a colour from pale yellow to pale gold, the perlage is fine and persistent; it’s fragrance is soft and characteristic and, finally, its taste is aromatic, distinctive, sweet and balanced in structure. That’s why Asti is a wine with a strong and aristocratic personality. The wine has given its name to a glass (cup Asti) and it should be served at a temperature of 6-8 °C.
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Unlike Champagne, Asti is not made sparkling through the use of secondary fermentation in the bottle but rather through a single tank fermentation utilizing the classic method. It retains its sweetness through a complex filtration process. Another wine (called Moscato d'Asti) is made in the same region from the same grape, but is only slightly sparkling and tends to have even lower alcohol.
Together with Lambrusco and Prosecco, Asti Spumante is the most Italian wine exported abroad. Some of the major manufacturers of it are Gancia, Contratto, Bosca, Coppo, Martini.
Photo Credits: Faberh
So, if you’re planning a trip to Piedmont, you can come and taste it yourself: for example, coming to Canelli, near the town of Asti, you will be able to visit the “Cattedrali sotterranee”, a fascinating underground trail that traces the history of Italian sparkling wine through the archives Gancia, the historic brand that holds the birthright of the bubbles "made in Italy".
And if you’re looking for an original gift, maybe a bottle of Asti Spumante, now you have a sweet Italian idea and one more reason to come to Italy and to my region, Piedmont.
And do not miss our nexts posts about Wine Festival in Porto Cervo 2013, Sardinia. Stay tuned!!