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Asti: Putting the sparkle back into the summer

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Thanks to its partnerships with leading bartenders and top tennis players, pioneering Italian sparkling wine region Asti is bringing back bubbles for a season of sunshine.

There’s a moment that often comes on a summer’s evening when a host needs the ideal drink to serve to their party guests. Liqueurs or digestifs would be too heavy, red or white table wines would be too savoury, and spirits seldom capture that magical summer vibe. Step forward the dynamic duo of Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti, the sparkling and sweet wines for which Italy’s Piedmont region is famed.

Both begin with the same special ingredient: Muscat blanc à Petits Grains – or ‘Moscato Bianco’ to its Italian friends – the finest and most elegant member of the Muscat family, grown throughout the beautiful hills of Monferrato, Roero and the Langhe. Focusing on quality saw both Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti awarded Italy’s highest DOCG (denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) designation in 1993.

Friends enjoying Asti sparkling wine

Game, set, match: Asti

Asti Spumante is the bottle that introduced Italian sparkling wine to fans around the globe, with its fine mousse and fragrant floral aroma. Served in styles ranging from the bone dry ‘brut nature’ to the more traditional gentle ‘dolce’ sweetness, Asti wines are the result of generations of expertise. Some get their sparkle from the famous Martinotti method in large, pressurised tanks, and others use the ‘Metodo classico’, as in Champagne, to develop bubbles inside the bottle.

Italian professional tennis player, Lorenzo Sonego with bottle of Asti sparkling wine

Italian professional tennis player, Lorenzo Sonego with a bottle of Asti Spumante.

Toasting special occasions with a glass of Asti Spumante is a treasured tradition in many Italians’ lives, making Asti a natural choice to become the official sparkling wine for the Association of Tennis Professionals and its flagship ATP Tour, with an ASTI pop-up bar during Internazionali di Roma and Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. As well as winners popping Asti’s corks to celebrate victory, local Turin tennis hero Lorenzo ‘Sonny’ Sonego has signed up as the wine’s sports ambassador.

Table of food with glass of Asti sparkling wine

From first serve to signature serve

Asti has made another exciting collaboration, with experimental bartender Giorgio Facchinetti, who is introducing the region’s wines to a whole new generation of cocktail fans on social media. Moscato d’Asti is the star of the show for his summery Exotica cocktail, which expertly pairs the sweet wine’s gentler fizz with yuzu paste and alcohol-free bitters. While Moscato d’Asti is already Italy’s best-known sweet wine, famed for its pairings with desserts, Facchinetti is making it a favourite with bartenders too.

Not to be outdone, Asti Spumante is getting in on the cocktail act too, with the sparkler taking centre stage in the Asti Signature cocktail. Facchinetti pairs it with basil leaves, Szechuan pepper and a slice of pink grapefruit to create a summer aperitif that’s wowing fans from the bars of Milan to the tennis clubs of Rome.

And to tickle the tastebuds, why not try mixing up your own Moscato Zen cocktail…


The Moscato Zen cocktail

Moscato Zen Cocktail made with Moscato d’Asti DOCG

Ingredients:
· 10cl Moscato d’Asti DOCG
· 2cl Elderflower liqueur
· Juice of 1/2 lime
· 1 teaspoon of ginger extract


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