£16.17 (75cl), Great Wines Direct; £9.90–£11.50 (37.5cl), Vinvm, Oddbins, Noble Green Wines, The Whalley Wine Shop, Great Wines Direct
Here’s a candidate for the title of perfect anytime wine for a heatwave. It's gently effervescent, feather-light, delicately sweet, as refreshing as summer rain and tastes of rose petals, fresh Muscat grapes and juicy apricots with a drizzle of stem ginger syrup.
To cap it all, it’s only 5% alcohol and now comes in a full-size 75cl bottle, as well as a dinky and useful – but let’s face it not always big enough – half bottle. And it has a screw cap, so there's no hassle with a corkscrew. when you're out and about
Before you grab the nearest Moscato d’Asti, though, you need to know that this one is in a class of its own. It comes from one of Piedmont’s and Barolo’s leading wine producers, Michele Chiarli, from vineyards in the heart of Monferrato, and the bubbles, sweetness and low alcohol are all natural. When the fermenting must reaches 5% alcohol, it’s chilled to 0ºC to stop the fermentation and retain the grapes' sweetness and freshness.
Perfect on it’s own by a pool, on a picnic, as an aperitivo and just as good with fresh fruit (raspberries, nectarines, cantaloupe melon), an apricot tart or a greengage clafoutis. 5% abv.
Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti 2021, Italy