A Wine for Tonight: 2008 Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti

By Kori ~ May 19th, 2011.

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 2008 Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti 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

I’ve told this story before when writing about a previous vintage of this wine, but it’s a good one so I hope you won’t mind if I tell it again. 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.

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.

The name Nivole, which means “clouds” in the Piedmontese dialect, fits the wine’s light, elegant quality. We’ve tasted and reviewed four different vintages of Nivole, the 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008. We’ve given each an excellent quality rating of 4 stars (out of 5). So even if you can’t find the 2008 where you live, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase whichever vintage is available.

2008 Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy): Pale, greenish straw yellow semi-sparkling wine. Beautiful nose with fresh, sweet aromas of honey, peach, and dried apricot. More honey, peach, and dried apricot as well as Asian pear come through on the palate. Sweet but not sickeningly sweet. Very crisp and refreshing. Well-balanced with a long finish. 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 [375ml], 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

Reader's Comments

  1. itsoffal | May 19th, 2011 at 7:41 am

    3 thumbs up. it is indeed delicious. wonderful for brunch and any other time of the day.

  2. itsoffal | May 19th, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Michele Chiarlo has come a long way, I still remember the old not very attractive labels of the 80’s. the old Granduca wines.
    Now the sleek wines of M.Chiarlo.

  3. Kori | May 20th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Glad you agree. Yes, brunch is a great time to enjoy this wine too. I don’t believe I’ve seen their old 80’s labels. Guess I’ll have to do a search and see if I can find them. Cheers!

  4. itsoffal | May 21st, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Looked for old labels on the web, so far no luck. but I used to collect labels and I gave them away. Couldn’t take it with me anyway.
    On another subject, anyone to look for in the art of music in your neck of the woods. Just discovered one and her name is Selah Sue, maybe she’d been around for some time but I wasn’t aware of her until a couple days.

  5. itsoffal | May 21st, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Actually she probably discovered me, I may have been hiding under a rock.

  6. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy | May 22nd, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Definitely a great choice of wine for just about any meal although it is particularly good with a brunch buffet.
    I liked your story about accidental discovery, wonderful how much good came out of a spill!

  7. Kori | May 24th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    While I enjoy music, I’m certainly no expert. I’m not familiar with Selah Sue; I’ll have to check her out.

    You are absolutely right; it’s great with a brunch buffet.


  8. itsoffal | May 24th, 2011 at 9:14 pm


    here is a video of her last week at the Cannes film festival, she sings with Theophilus London. Canal+ channel had them on their – Le Grand Journal show. I had the whole 20mns video but it’s no longer on their site.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV-b4lR2ChI her singing – Raggamuffin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLqrIByOIWw Fyah Fyah