Recently, we ordered a 375 ml bottle after dinner for a dessert wine. Unlike many dessert wines, it was sweet without being thick or slightly syrupy. Once uncorked and poured, it was somewhat effervescent, bubbles, but not a continuous streem of bubbles. Any way, as someone who rarely drinks white wine, the stuff was good, and I thought it was light enough to drink with some food other than just dessert.
Can any recommend some good producers?
The key to Moscato d'Asti is youth. It's low in alcohol, slightly spritzy/frizzante (unlike Asti Spumante, which is full-blown sparkling), and works with a Sunday brunch or as a summer's aperitif (though I prefer Vin de Bougey-Cerdon) in addition to some desserts.
Look for the following:
• Michele Chiarlo (Nivole Moscato)
• Giacinto Gallina (Farfarello Moscato)
• Saracco (Moscato)
• La Spinetta (Moscato)
Hope that helps . . .
I've had extremely good experiences with the Beri moscato d'asti - haven't ever been able to acquire a bottle to drink at home (always got it at a bar), though, so I wish you better luck.
There was another one I tried recently that was also good. I believe the house was Pio Cesare (sp?). The nose was beautiful, full of ripe fruit.
I recently bought a bottle of something called Moscato Ottonel - haven't tasted it - that you might also try looking for if you don't have as much luck with the moscato d'asti. The guy at Moore Bros said that the Ottonel would be a good bottle for someone who enjoys the fruity moscato d'asti kind of flavour.
Muscat Ottonel is one of the many varieties of Muscat, BUT is in no way reminiscent of a Moscato d'Asti . . .
To begin with, Moscato d'Asti is a wine, not a grape -- it is produced from the grape best known by [one of] its French name[s], Muscat blanc a petits grains. The wine is very low in alcohol, generally between 5-8 percent, is lightly spritzy, etc., etc.
Muscat blanc a petits grains (also known as Moscato di Canelli) is generally regarded as THE Muscat, meaning it is the most highly prized. Muscat of Alexandria is a poor relation, and Muscat of Hamburg is a cross between Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria.
Muscat Ottonel is most associated with Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.), and is rather "dull" in commparison. This doesn't mean the wine is bad, or that you won't like it -- merely that a great Muscat Ottonel generally won't stand up to a good Muscat blanc.
I recently posted about Moscato d'Asti I had enjoyed that I purchased in Alba, Italy. There are many producers in the Alba/Barbaresco area. Another poster pointed out that this wine from the Alba area is drier than from the actual Asti area. I found that very interesting as I would describe my favorites as fruity-dry, not as sweet. My family's current favorite is Conti d'Alba, which we get in Los Angeles. It's cheap and delicious and has impressed everyone to whom we have served it.
la spinetta, imho, blows away most others that i've had by a long shot. a distant second is villa giada. both are explosively aromatic, beautifully balanced, and generally delicious.
If you enjoy muscato d'asti, give brachetto d'aqcui a try some time. It's pink and bubbly, but generally appeals to those who enjoy a good muscato d'asti. Personally I prefer the Brachetto because it has a little more body and deeper grape flavor, whereas muscato is a little sweeter.