by Fred McMillin
for June 10, 1997

The Wine That Pleased Pliny


Muscat vines are thought to be the oldest known to man...Pliny the Elder called it the "grape of the bees" because of its sweetness and strong aroma.

    - From Jancis Robinson's "Vines, Grapes and Wines"

The Rest of the Story: Pliny was talking about Muscat vines in what today we call Italy. Fortunately, the Muscat family is still there, alive and well and delicate and sweet.

In Italy's renowned Piedmont district, Michele Chiarlo produces a million bottles a year. They include a delicious dessert Muscat from the Asti area for a very reasonable $9 (375 ml.). So, wind up your next dinner party with a great conversation piece, this close relative of the wine that pleased Pliny 2,000 years ago.

1995 Nivole Moscato d'Asti
Michele Chiarlo
Piedmont, Italy
Importer—Kobrand Corp., N.Y.C.
Contact—If you can't get through to Michele at (0141) 75231 in Calamandrana, Italy, then phone Kobrand's Kimberly Charles in New York City at (212) 692-4710.
$9 (375 ml.)

Category: Highly Recommended in its price range

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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