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Bartenura’s Moscatos: Hip, Kosher and Italian–and Ideal for Passover and Easter

4 Apr

While it’s been around since Roman times, when it was called Moscatellum, Moscato today is all the rage. A lovely aromatic grape, overlooked for years but well deserving of its current popularity, Moscato is now the fastest-growing varietal in the U.S. According to a Nielsen report ending Jan. 7, sales of Moscato in 2011 were up 73% in volume and revenue from 2010, a phenomenal 100% increase. Today Moscato is the No. 3 white wine in the U.S., ahead of Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Impact, a Marvin Shanken (of Wine Spectator fame) trade publication, has just deemed Italy’s Bartenura a “Hot Prospect” since it’s nearly doubled in volume since 2008. Its growth is indeed impressive. With a nod to the sweet Manischewitz wines of yesteryear, this year why not turn to Bartenura, which makes three semisweet and sweet Moscatos that are kosher for Passover: Moscato (SRP: $14.99*), Sparkling Moscato (SRP: $17.99*) and a sparkling Moscato Rosé (SRP $17.99*).

According to Shanken, David Herzog, CEO of Royal Wine, which imports Bartenura, estimates that 85% of its Moscato sales are to those unconcerned with its kosher status. The wines are just as appropriate at the Easter celebration as the Passover table.

Bartenura Moscato: Fruity, light, semisweet, serve with fruit and other desserts
Bartenura Sparkling Moscato Piemonte: semisweet, floral, serve with dessert
Bartenura Sparkling Moscato Rosé: fruity, sweet, from Asti, 85% Moscato, 15% Brachetto for color; serve with cheese, fruit and other desserts

*Wines can usually be found for less–sometimes considerably less–than the SRP (suggested retail price).

by Sharon Kapnick