Moscato and brunch!

There is undoubtedly one wine that should grace your table when serving brunch at home. Moscato! Now, your reaction may be: 1. Why on earth would I have alcohol mid day or 2. Moscato, isn’t that too sweet?

Well, I have news for you… it’s not too sweet or too early in the day. End of story! Ha ha.

I personally became more interested in Moscato, when I started learning about the wines of Italy. Their whole culture grew up with wine, even their little ones tasted it at some point in their youth. Did they turn out to be alcoholics? No they did not. But they were most likely served a low alcohol wine like Moscato with a little parental guidance. It not only is low in alcohol, but it’s got a lighter, slightly sweeter body and style. Perfect for a first time wine sipper (no matter their age!).

Of course, Italy is not the ONLY place producing Moscato nowadays, but it was one of the first. So here is a fun find from Australia ! I recently served this for brunch with friend Christine (girlsgogrape) and her family, to go with croissants, cheese, fruits and pâté and a light lemon square dessert made locally in Vancouver (and it went superbly!)…

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Innocent Bystander Victoria Moscato 2014

Yarra Valley, Victoria  Australia

Grapes – old vine Gordo and Black Muscat

5.5% alc., notes of fresh field strawberries dusted with sugar and cranberries (bringing out the tartness in the wine), lightly frizzante and a nice light and refreshing body, it was so easy (too easy) to drink. The sweetness was balanced with some acidity and therefore it went with everything on the table from sweet croissants to savoury pâté. A must try!

Be open to try what is perceived as “sweet” wines with food to match – you may be pleasantly surprised!

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For more information about Moscato and other styles, read this article from Wine Folly Discover Moscato Wine

Read more about the region in Italy producing Muscat wines: from Wine Folly Piedmont

I recommend some of these wines…

blog valpolicella

Can you guess what the grapes are in this Italian Valpolicella (Val-pole-itch-ella) wine from Masi? The common blend of Valpolicella from Northeastern Italy is Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. You knew that right? 😉  It’s medium body, with sweet spice, ripe red cherries, hint (hint) of earth and leather, bright and smooth. Easy to please any palate for sure. And it went well with the savoury mushroom risotto I made!

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I opened this great find recently. Purchased at the Vancouver International Wine Festival in 2015. Tempranillo (temp-ran-eee-oh) from the new world. It’s bright yet shows notes of baked fruits, leather, sweet cigars, a little spice and solid tannins. I love discovering old world grapes  in the new world. This Gemtree Luna Tempranillo from McLaren Vale, Australia lived up to its reputation fairly well!

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If you haven’t explored the wines of Tasmania, you really do need to.  Josef Chromy is a great producer and I loved this Pinot Noir! It’s a gorgeous beast :), with notes of red berries, chocolate along with smooth tannins. So if you are a Pinot Noir lover (along with their sparkling!) give it a try to see what’s happening in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Long ago, BC Wine (wine from British Columbia, the west side of Canada) was considered sweet crap. Not only were the wines not so great, but consumers were not experienced with wine or educated on it. Much has changed!! For years now we have had winemakers from around the world, living in the Okanagan Valley (our wine region) and bringing their knowledge and expertise to the locals and to consumers. The Okanagan has been noticed worldwide for it’s growing conditions and wines that are being produced. Once we grew everything, now we seem to have a better handle on what grapes do well in certain areas.

Take this wine above: Le Vieux Pin Winery is in the South Okanagan (the northern most part of the Sonoran Desert – from Baha Mexico to Canada) near the town of Oliver. They make French style wines and their flagship grape is Syrah. And wow, what a syrah it is. It’s made in an old world style, with notes of red and black fruits, black pepper, earth, leather and lovely tannins. One of my favourites! Le Vieux Pin and their sister winery (LaStella) will be reviewed in this months Wine Enthusiast fyi. Aside from that, they are recognized around the world for their wines, even a few Michelin star restaurants in Europe have them on their wine lists.

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Two delicious finds are the Camillo Donati Lambrusco from Italy and the Claus Preisinger ‘Basic’ from Austria. Lambrusco is a very old grape from the area of Emilia-Romagna. If you are new to Lambrusco, which is a slightly frizzante red wine, this is one to begin with. Naturally made, expect it to be bold and rich with sweet fruits, savoury notes, it’s dry and just so darn delicious! Pair it with some pizza and voilà! it’s like being in Italy.

And for those of you wanting to explore a bit more of Europe, give this blend of 50% Blaufrankisch and 50% Zweigelt a try from Claus Preisinger in Austria. It’s medium body, smooth and easy to enjoy. Think red fruits from a cool climate, it will definitely surprise you! If you like Syrah, Pinot Noir, Grenache, you’ll enjoy discovering this producer and these grapes!

Keep exploring the wonderful world of wine – by trying wines you may not be familiar with!