While this isn’t about Riesling, it is about a wine that is sweeter by half than the average Riesling — but still not as sweet as your morning Big Gulp.
Moscato d’Asti is one of the most refreshing choices possible in the heat of an Oklahoma summer.
It’s a light, aromatic, sweet sparkling wine from the Asti region of Italy. If the bubbles put you off, choose still Moscato. Both are remarkably versatile accompaniments to food, most especially spicy food, be it Mexican, Thai or Indian.
Like Riesling, Moscato d’Asti ranges in sweetness from barely sweet to very sweet. The Tintero Moscato d’Asti is a prime example of the former. The Kermit Lynch import from Italy is slightly sweet, with hints of peach, melon, pear and lavender.
What is unique about Tintero is its racing minerality, a surprising component that keeps the wine from being too floral. It’s available by the glass at Bin 73, 7312 N. Western.
A well-known name in the metro is Secco. The “Italian bubbles” mod eled on Prosecco have made extensive inroads in the metro due in large part to its high quality and low price. The ladies who brought us Secco bubbles now have a sparkling Moscato in-state.
Secco Moscato, like Tintero, has enough minerality that the wine is sweet, but not excessively so. The flavors are predominantly stone fruit, citrus, green apple and jasmine. It’s available at Byron’s Liquor, 2322 N. Broadway, and Pancho’s Liquortown, 6801 N. Meridian.
Another non-Asti Moscato is Mionetto Il Moscato. From Veneto, Itality, the Mionetto has very light carbonation and a crisp finish, but what’s most distinctive are the flavors of lemongrass and mown grass that accompany the orchard and stone fruits.
The Mionetto is sweet, but the crisp, clean finish makes it seem dryer than its counterparts. It’s available at Saii Asian Bistro, 6900 N. May, and Spirit Shop, 1117 Garver in Norman.
Finally, the Umberto Fiore Moscato d’Asti is a another unique example of the varietal and style. Lightly carbonated and crisp, the Umberto Fiore has a notable honey component, as well as a noticeable grape flavor.
Oddly enough, that’s really unusual in quality wines. The orchard and stone fruits are there as well, as are the floral components. It’s a solid choice and available by the glass at Stella, 1201 N. Walker.