Sweet Heaven — A Dolce Stilnovo Rosso Wine Review

dolce rosso“Sweet wine is real wine, too.” There, I’ve issued a challenge to all those wine drinkers who turn up their nose at wine that isn’t dry. I’m not sure where this prejudice started — probably with all the now-sophisticated winos who started their drinking careers under the bleachers in high school, swilling sweet Boone’s Farm straight from the bottle.

Today’s true, high-quality sweet wines are a world away from Thunderbird. About 4000 miles, in fact… In Italy, they grow a wonderful grape called Moscato that makes heavenly sweet wine without any added sugar. The trick is that during fermentation, they stop the process before all of the sugar has been converted to alcohol. The rapid, intense refrigeration that stops the action of the yeast also leaves a little bit of natural spritziness in the wine. The result of all this is a naturally-sweet, slightly bubbly, clean, fruity, wine.

So let’s talk labels. Most Italian Moscato’s are from the Asti region, and almost all are white. These have a lush peach-y flavor. But there’s one “Red Moscato” called Dolce Stilnovo Rosso 2009, made by Cantine Aurora in Piemonte. Instead of peaches, this one offers delicate sweet strawberries on the palate. If you like sweet wines, it’s to die for. In fact, it’s very close to the more famous Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui, but about $10 less.

The back label calls this a Dessert Wine, and it’s great that way alongside something chocolate-y with, say, a raspberry drizzle. But for all those folks with a sweet palate, it’s a great everyday drinking wine. And there are lots of those folks out there! At $15, this is the perfect bottle to bring out when the “non-drinking” relatives come to dinner. They’ll take a sip, and before you know it they’ll have polished off the bottle. Not to worry — true Moscato’s are only about 6-7% alcohol (because of the stopping-fermentation-thing, remember?) So Aunt Ethel won’t get hungover from her night of wine drinking.

Try this for yourself, and let your mind stretch to accommodate a good, sweet, wine.

$15.99 Dolce Stilnova Rosso 750 ml
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