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Zabaione and Moscato d’Asti


Here’s a question. How and when should you drink Moscato d’Asti? We’re assuming, by the way, that you do drink it…or that your interest has been sufficiently piqued for us to continue. It’s a Rude Wines staff favourite, but whenever a bottle is cracked open, a heated debate ensues, generally centred around what to eat with it, and very occasionally the type of weather needed to create optimum enjoyment (we’re a sad lot).


Not to be confused with the lower quality Asti Spumante (drier, fully sparkling and more alcoholic), Moscato d’Asti is a DOCG (top quality level) semi-sparkling wine produced in the Piedmont region in Italy. Made from the Moscato grape, it’s fermented in pressurized tanks where some of the carbon dioxide remains in the wine, creating the gentle sparkle – called frizzante. It’s deliberately kept low in alcohol at around 5.5% abv by chilling the fermenting wine to stop the fermentation early. The result is a semi-sweet, fresh and intensely aromatic sparkler with a classic aroma of grape juice, peaches and floral notes.

So, how do you serve it? Silly question you might say, after all, most sparkling wines are meant to be enjoyed as an aperitif and Moscato d’Asti is no exception. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy to drink, and will suit those whose palates prefer a touch of sweetness rather than the mouth-puckering dryness and acidity of some sparkling wines and Champagnes.

But this is a wine that deserves a bit more fanfare and contemplation. The general rule of thumb with sweet wines is either to match sweetness levels in the wine and food, or opt for the contrast effect by choosing a salty, savoury food that balances with the sweetness. Italians tend to drink Moscato as an aperitif or with sweet cakes, pastries or a celebratory panettone. So what better than to ask an Italian, and why not the man who made it in the first place? We put the question to Massimo Ponte of Fratelli Ponte who makes our delectable Moscato d’Asti:

‘Moscato d’Asti is perfect as an aperitif and with all desserts. I love it with fresh strawberries served with ice cream. You could also cook a fantastic hot cream: zabaione. Most people would make this with Marsala but it works very well with Moscato and has a softer flavour. My grandmother cooked this for us when we were children as a tea-time treat but it’s served in the best restaurants in Piedmont with hazelnut tart.’

Massimo’s Zabaione

Ingredients – Serves 2

4 large eggs

4 tbsp caster sugar

Moscato d’Asti

Raspberries and nutty biscuits to serve



Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place the yolks in a metal bowl with the caster sugar and beat with a whisk until well combined. Add one half egg shell of Moscato for every egg yolk used (the ratio of 1 yolk, 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 half shell of alcohol should stay the same if you are making a larger amount).

Put the bowl in a pan of hot water on the hob and continue whisking until you have reached the desired consistency – the zabaione should be a smooth, light custard. Best served warm with fresh raspberries in a cocktail glass, hazelnut biscuits and of course, a chilled glass of Moscato d’Asti.

So there you have it, forget the weather and whisk up a the perfect combination of flavours in a couple of minutes. A wine that you can drink with cake, ice cream and custard….


By: Rachel

***Grabbed from: