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Jul 17, 2012 07:29 PM

Moscatos similar to Michele Chiarlo Nivole

MY fiance's favorite wine is the Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato. She recently moved to my hometown of Madison, WI and there is no one that sells it here. Can you recommend something similar that might be available here? Thanks!

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  1. First, there are good wine stores in Madison, my former home town. I was there a month this year and found Steve's on University Avenue to have such a good selection that my wallet felt some serious pain. Go into Steve's or another store, and ask them to order it.

    Second, the wine is imported by Kobrand, a huge distributor. Give them a call at 914.253.7700 and ask them where you can buy it in Madison. Ask for the sales rep in the Madison area to call you ASAP and let you know where in town you can get it. Here's the Kobrand website and writeup of the wine:

    Or, if you have the time, go down to the bottom of the Kobrand page, and click on the link that says "Find a Retailer".
    Enter the name of the product you want and wait for a reply.

    Finally, there are better Moscato d'Asti wines, even though it's easy to lock in to a certain brand and be comfortable with it. Here are tasting notes and ratings from on other Moscato d'Asti wines that might fill the bill.

    Good luck to you. These are steps I take to chase down a wine.

    1. I called Steve's already, they had never heard of it and couldn't order it. I called all the stores listed under "wine" in the yellow pages

      Your second suggestion gave me 3 more stores to try.

      I don't understand the link in your third suggestion, but I will spend some more time reading it tomorrow.


      18 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          I looked online. Shipping costs more than the bottle. She said "that's not worth it, we'll find another one we like". So far we've tried three from Woodmans and disliked all of them.

          1. re: dntml

            were those Moscatos Italian? Since she likes the Nivole, make sure you are buying a Moscato d'Asti. There are Moscatos from other areas, but you're most likely to find a similar taste if you get one that is also from Asti.

            1. re: ChefJune


              The cellartracker link in my first post is to Moscato d'Asti, which is made from the Moscato Bianco grape. Stick to that for searching. Moscato is not the same grape as Moscato Bianco.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Thanks, I'll consider that.

                BTW calling the distributor wasnt helpful. They referred me to three local stores, none of which stocked it or could order it.

                I tried Steve's again, this time they said they could get it at $16/half bottle. Ouch, considering it's $8 in stores on the east coast and $10 online. Still not bad for a wine we both like!

                1. re: dntml

                  >>"BTW calling the distributor wasnt helpful. They referred me to three local stores, none of which stocked it or could order it."<<

                  Something wrong here. This kindof stuff gets me a bit crazy as I know how it is to search for something so specific. Mind if I try to help?

                  The 914 number is the national office of Kobrand, but they may sell through a sub-distributor in Wisconsin. It's THAT office you need to speak with. A sales rep who sells Kobrand products specifically in Madison HAS to know if they've placed Nivole at retail there. Marialorraine suggested you speak directly with a local Madison sales rep, not just Kobrand's main office.

                  Are these two of the stores you called? They're from the Kobrand site she referred to.

                  LIQUOR TOWN
                  5276 WILLIAMSBURG WAY
                  MADISON, WI 53719

                  HY VEE FOOD STORE
                  3801 E WASHINGTON AVE
                  MADISON, WI 53704

                  Nivole is a very distinctive Moscato. I used to call it 'effervescent limeaid with a kick'. Good luck with the search.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    I visited both of those stores in person. I also called the sub distributor which is Phillips, 608-222-9177. They were the ones that suggested I try Steve's again.

                    1. re: dntml

                      Great! The wine distribution channels are sometimes a bit hard to follow, so I was just trying to be sure you got to the best source. I was a wine retailer for several years, so it's built into me that customer service is paramount.

                      Buying online DOES chafe a bit, because of the shipping when you buy smallish quantities, but it's sometimes the best approach when you 'have to' have something specific.

                      Other posts have recommended Moscato d'Astis, but I've never had one that was quite like Nivole.

                      I had some time so I went to and found a store at $10. They had 8 bottles on hand and shipping was $17 to WI. So...... $97/8=$12.15.

                      Go for it!

                      1. re: Midlife

                        I think that's the same store I found online initially. I was about to order 4 bottles of the Nivole and 2 of a sweet riesling she likes, and she was like "dont pay shipping, we'll just find something else we like locally". We tried 3 bottles locally so far and didnt like any of them, so I'm back on the hunt!

                2. re: maria lorraine

                  I'm still confused with the celltracker link. It opens a list of over 1000 wines. Are you suggesting all those will be similar?

                  1. re: dntml

                    Michele Chiarlo is not the only quality Moscato d'Asti. There are many others. The listings in the cellartracker link are all Moscato d'Asti wines with reviews. If your girlfriend likes Moscato d'Asti, which is different from Moscato, then these reviews by people who mostly know their stuff will be very helpful.

                    The reviews are also rated by number, and you can sort by number to get a list of the highest rated Moscato d'Asti wines. Once armed with that info and a list of brands, call your wine stores again and ask which Moscato d'Asti wines they have in stock.

                    Edited to add: Here's the Moscato d'Asti list on cellartracker sorted by numerical rating.
                    100 is highest, then the wines reviewed are in descending order.

                    You can click on below each rating to buy the wine.

                    BTW, that answer was lame from Kobrand. Call them back if you like and ask them to be helpful. Ask to speak to the sales rep for Madison.

              2. re: dntml

                Re: order through Amazon

                Oh, hell. Just order a case of 375 ml and pay the $3 per bottle ship charge and be done with it.

                I just priced it out.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  How did you find that? Every online order I priced out worked out to being $14 or more for a single bottle, or $18 or more for two.

                  1. re: dntml

                    Buying single bottles on line is not the way to go. It's pretty much limited to FedEx or UPS and their minimum charge is what you found. marialorraine is quoting a cost for a full case of 12.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      Hmmmm . . . I think I might get yelled at for ordering a full case of 12 . . . but if I bought the case, kept it in storage, and only brought out one or two at a time . . .

                      I was hoping to find something very similar that was available locally, so I wouldnt have to order. But it's not a bad option.

                      1. re: dntml

                        After trying to find something local and striking out three times, my guess is she will be SO glad to see the Nivole she won't put up much of a fuss. (Kind of like some folks do when presented with an expensive present -- you know: "Oh you shouldn't have," usually really means "I'm so glad you did!")

                        1. re: dntml

                          <<I was about to order 4 bottles of the Nivole and 2 of a sweet riesling she likes, and she was like "dont pay shipping, we'll just find something else we like locally". We tried 3 bottles locally so far and didnt like any of them, so I'm back on the hunt!>>

                          Sounds like you've more than tried without success. Maybe turn this project over to her?

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            She's having a hard time with moving and a new job . . . I'd like to find as many of the little things from home to make her happy . . .

                            Whoever said I'd get in trouble for buying the whole case is correct . . . "I told you not to order online, see you never listen!"

            2. Maybe try leaving the Moscatos behind and simply look for similar wines, IOW other white dessert wines.

              You will find a lot of very enjoyable wines from Australia selling at a similar price point and others from California and Germany rather a bit higher.

              4 Replies
              1. re: FrankJBN

                Any suggestions for common ones? I think the thing she likes about the Michele Chiarlo is that it is sweet and low alcohol-- a good wine for someone who doesnt really like wine.

                1. re: dntml

                  Gewürztraminers from Alsace can be very honey'd and enjoyable. Check out Zind-Humbrecht or Domaine Weinbach. If you have a good wine store, say you want an off-dry to sweet Gewürztraminer from Alsace (Alsace does not label their wines "sweet" or "dry" as far as I know). Otherwise you'll just have to try your luck.

                  I'm not the most familiar with German, Austrian or Italian wines, but I assume they may make sweet or off-dry versions of Gewürztraminer as well.

                  Same with Rieslings, try looking for an off-dry to sweet riesling. The Alsace ones won't designate that, but the German ones sometimes do - avoid ones that say "trocken."

                  1. re: goldangl95

                    I'm just reading into things, and I could be off-base, but it sounds like the fiance wants only the dessert bubbles she likes or something virtually identical. She "doesn't like wine."

              2. Updates:

                Steve's was able to get the Nivole for $17 for a 375ml bottle. I dont remember if I posted that before or not, but considering that most other Moscatos seem to be ~$10 for 750ml, I decided to keep looking.

                Using you guy's suggestions, I decided to start with other Moscato D'Asti's. Steve's recommended Luccio Moscato D'Asti which she loved (we havent cracked the Nivole yet to see how close it comes, but given all the stuff she's hated up til now, it seemed incredible in comparison). Turns out my favorite grocery store (Woodman's) has the Luccio for half the price of Steves.

                Since Woodman's is down the street from my house, I'm just going to pick up one bottle at a time of the D'Asti's they stock, starting from the lowest price point (interestingly, the Luccio) on up.

                I'm finding this fun-- interesting as before dating her I was a 100% non drinker. All of my exes and friends either drank for social reasons or not at all. She drinks only because she's a foodie. I'm a foodie too.

                1. Well . . . we just did a blind taste test tonight between the Nivole, the Luccio, and something I found at Woodmans today called "Cupcake Vineyards" (it was the next price point up in the Moscato D'Asti's) . . . the Nivole was a CLEAR winner, the Cupcake one was a distant second, and the Luccio was third. So I'll still be buying D'Asti's until I run out of whatever Woodmans has to offer!