By Kori ~ January 14th, 2010.
Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? Many of our readers have said this is something they would like, so here is this week’s selection, the 2007 Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti (semi-sparkling wine) from the Piedmont region of Italy.
Our selection criteria include:
- A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
- A price tag of <=$15
- Must be widely available
Our first experience with Nivole came by accident. We were dining at one of the premier steakhouses here in Seattle on a special occasion when the server accidentally spilled a bottle of red wine at our table, splattering everywhere, including all over my husband’s pants. After apologizing profusely to Colby, replacing the wine with a fresh bottle, offering to pay for cleaning the pants, and comping us on the meal, the manager had a bottle of Nivole sent to our table as a dessert wine. It hit the spot then and has continued to hit the spot for us since that time.
We’ve tasted and reviewed three different vintages of Nivole, the 2004, 2005, and 2007. We’ve given each an excellent quality rating of 4 stars (out of 5). So even if you can’t find the 2007 where you live, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the 2008 or whichever vintage is available. Nivole’s low level of alcohol (usually 5.5-6%) makes it particularly light and fruity on the palate and great for drinking after dinner when higher alcohol wines have already been consumed. The name Nivole, which means “clouds” in the Piedmontese dialect, fits the wine’s light, elegant quality.
Coming from a line of seven generations of grape growers, Michele Chiarlo founded his namesake winery in 1956. Today, Mr. Chiarlo is a leading figure in the Piedmont wine industry. Michele Chiarlo is definitely a family business with Mr. Chiarlo’s sons, Alberto and Stefano, now playing key roles. Alberto directs marketing and sales while Stefano manages vineyard operations and serves as co-winemaker.
2007 Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti (375 ml): A clear, bright, straw-colored semi-sparkling wine. Exhibits fresh, sweet aromas of apricots and Satsuma oranges. Lots of apricot comes through on the palate. Sweet but not sickeningly sweet. Very crisp and refreshing. The perfect dessert wine (with or without any dessert).
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin (Seattle, Washington), $12.99, Available elsewhere, $10 to $16
Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Italian Wine, Moscato/Muscat, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25