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Mar 31, 2011 11:56 PM

Moscato and lunch in Asti?

My favorite wine is Moscato di Asti. I am fortunate enough to be traveling through Asti in May. I'd love any recommendations for a great lunch spot where I can have a glass of the sparkling delight in its native region. And, as usual, if there are any suggestions for delicious desserts or sweet delicacies, please let me know.

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  1. Dear Sweetie, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I live in the vicinity of Asti city and I have to tell you that neither Asti Spumante or its Cinderella sister Moscato d'Asti are made here! FYI the production areas are in the south of Asti PROVINCE, centred around Canelli and stretching south to Acqui Terme.

    But of course in the CITY of Asti you can enjoy a glass of the fizzy light (5%) Moscato d'Asti in any of the bars as well as restaurants of course. As a local my lunch picks would be Tuit at Eataly just off Pzza Alfieri, Tacabanda, around the corner from Tuit, or Pompa Magna off Pzza Roma. The latter is a wine bar and the owner speaks English. Desert specials: the usual cast of Piedmontese dolce, Pannacotta and Bunet are local favourites as well as my fave, semifreddo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Villasampaguita

      Oh, and thank you also for the lunch spot recommendations. I know Eataly is in New York (though I didn't go when I was there last), but I am curious to visit. So it's great to know that a local person would recommend an eatery there as a good choice. Otherwise, I may have worried that it was too commercial and not authentic. Thanks for the recs!

    2. The actual production center for Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti is near the town of Canelli. Other than the name, the city of Asti doesn't have much to do with wine production. The regional enoteca for moscato, both spumante and still is in the town of Canale. As a matter of fact, the production zone for moscato includes parts of Alessandria and Cuneo provinces.

      Regarding local sweets (dolci piemontesi), the Pasticceria Giordanino in Asti is famous for its Astigiani which are amaretti cookies soaked in various liqueurs like rum, maraschino and Grand Marnier.

      11 Replies
      1. re: VILLAFAVOLOSA

        Guanin I think you mean't to write Canelli instead of Canale for the regional Enoteca Regionale di Canelli dell Astesana specializing in sparkling wines? The Canale Enoteca del Roero is as the name says for Roero wines. And in fact if the OP wants to make a 30 minute drive, the Enoteca Regionale for Moscato is at the Castello dei Busca in Mango. Cheers, its an easy mistake and even us stranieri do it di tanto in tanto :-)

        1. re: Villasampaguita

          Well, thank you both so much for this important information! Silly me, I saw Asti on the map and figured I'd go to the straight source for a glass of my favorite style of wine. The joke would have been on me! Now that I have this information, I will probably just request something (relatively) locally produced when I'm at a bar or restaurant in the city.

          I like a good glass of Moscato d'Asti, but my true passion is dessert! So I will definitely try many of the sweet treats you both referenced above. I've never even heard of most of them. I am in for a real treat-- or many real treats!! I have a running list with everything I have to try between Turin (where I arrive) and Cannes, France (where I'll be traveling). I'll be taking the train, which runs through Cuneo I believe, so there will be many cities for me to "taste" before I hit France. If only I could get some references from French Chowhounds as helpful and knowledgeable as my new Italian Chowhound friends. Thx! Thx! :)

          1. re: Sweet Sweetie

            Sweetie, actually Moscato is sort of local in Asti city as we are the capital of Asti province, just no wineries that make the fizzy stuff. Going to try one of the chocolatieres in Turin then?

            1. re: Villasampaguita

              One of them?? More like a dozen! I'm sure the chocolate will be a highlight of my trip!! I posted a different inquiry in March and got some good dessert suggestions-- in addition to a great photo of a nutella tasting from you! Yum! I'm sure I'll come home with a few jars of chocolate/hazelnut spread from local vendors. But I'll have to do more research to get a better idea of the chocolate shops in Turin. I've read a few threads, but I still need to compile a list. Then again, if it is anything like Paris then I can just walk down the street and stumble upon many good chocolatiers. Still, if you know of any great ones, please do let me know. I'd love to visit one or two that are old, independent or family run.

              1. re: Sweet Sweetie

                There are a dozen or so artisanal chocolate makers in Turin (Turin became a choco city before Paris) - check out .

                My favourites are Gobino and Pfatisch, you can walk in and have a chocolate tasting for less then 10E, you choose a selection, plus they give you some of the house specials and a glass of Chinato. Expect to be buzzed all day and forget lunch!

                1. re: Sweet Sweetie

                  Here's a link to shops that participate in this year's chocopass. It's in a pdf under "participating establishments." I've never used the chocopass but at least the info here will let you plot your visit a little more specifically. I have eaten lots of chocolate in Torino. I think Gobino is probably my favorite. Treat yourself to the Gianduja cream spread. It's something special.


                  1. re: badwaiter

                    I would suggest investigating the locations and the treats of each spot before purchasing the ChocoPass. It might not be a good bet if you want to taste only chocolates, as opposed to chocolate cakes and chocolate drinks (bicerin, etc). Also, the locations are quite spread out and maximal use would require a lot of walking. Mine came with my hotel room (GH Sitea; 2009).

                    Highly recommend Baratti & MIlano in Turin if you are interested in sweet delights.

                    1. re: erica

                      Thanks so much everybody! I had considered the great Chocopass, but I didn't know if I'd get all over the city. But now, with all of these great chocolate/dessert shop recommendations (Gobino, Pfatisch, Baratti & MIlano and others) I don't think I'll need the pass! I also appreciate the links for additional reading and information. Thx!

          2. re: VILLAFAVOLOSA

            Oops. The town for the regional enoteca is Mango, which is in Cuneo Province. I've always found it interesting that the heart of the so-called "Asti Spumante" zone is in Cuneo not Asti province. People still remember those Asti Spumante commercials from years ago and they assume it comes from Asti. I think the province of Asti should commemorate the person who created that adverting campaign.

            1. re: VILLAFAVOLOSA

              Thanks for the clarification, V. And you're right about the commercials. :)

              1. re: VILLAFAVOLOSA

                Actually I think that the citizens of Asti city should ask the Asti Spumante consortium to take the name Asti out and call it Nasti Spumante, or something like that (-:. IMO it gives most folks a negative impression of Asti. In Sweeties case, she is one of the few people who have heard about the real thing Moscato d'Asti.

            2. I realize this is a year-old thread, but I wanted to add for the archives that I enjoyed very good coffee and zabaglione-filled pastries this morning at Pfatisch in Torino (near the Porta Nuova train station), and ate lunch in Asti, where one of the nicest parts of the meal (at Da Aldo) was the finish of strawberries in Moscato d'Asti.

              2 Replies
              1. re: barberinibee

                Excellent, good to know. Thanks, Barberinibee!

                1. re: Sweet Sweetie

                  Have you taken the trip? I dont remember your report, Sweet Sweetie!