Q: What is the difference and similarities between Moscato d' Asti and Asti Spumante?
A: Moscato d' Asti has less pressure in its carbonation, this is called "frizzante" or frizzy. This would translate to a foamy sensation in the mouth. Moscato d' Asti is 5.5% alcohol by law and Asti Spumante is 7%. This wine is called spumante because it it Italian term for sparkling wine and the pressure from carbonation is much greater than the Moscato d' Asti. They both are made from the same grape (moscato) and come from the same area - the town of Asti in Piemonte, Italy. Both of these wines have the highest designation in Italy, DOCG.
Q: Does LoDuca Brothers own any vineyards in Italy?
A: At one time our musical division had keyboards made in the Marche region of Italy. Surrounding these factories that we owned were vineyards, those vineyards made Rosso Conero, a lovely red wine indigenous to the Marche region. It was very convenient at the time to put a few cases of wine from that property into our containers to ship to the US, thus LoDuca Wine Division was born.
Q: I have tried your LoDuca White Lambrusco and enjoyed it quite a bit, tell me more about it.
A: It is made from the same grapes as our red lambrusco, however the skins are immediately removed before the wine ferments. N.B. All wines pressed produce white juice, the color comes from contact with the skins during the fermentation process. There is no contact with the skins in any part of the wine making process for our LoDuca White Lambrusco. The juice is handled under cool conditions to extract all the fruits flavors. During fermentation this process is arrested with a cooling system. This process of wine making produces a very fruity wine, some say reminiscent of Bartlett pears. It is light with a little frizzante and an off-dry sensation on the palate.
Q: If I open a bottle of wine and do not finish it, what is the best way to keep it?
A: Air and heat are two enemies of wine. There are devices which remove the air from bottle of unfinished wine and create a vacuum in the bottle when recorked immediately. You can also purchase small cans of nitrogen which can displace the air in the bottle and crate and inert atmosphere. Without these precautions, the wine could "oxidize" which would prematurely darken the wine and eventually give it a baked or burnt caramel taste similar to a well made Madeira. In the absence of the proper displacement tools., simply cork the wine and place it in the refrigerator. This will keep the wine for several months. the flavor may diminish a tad. A note of caution: heat will effect the wine to the point of drinkability if a warm condition is sustained. Avoid warm storage places.
Q: How significant is the vintage on a bottle of wine?
A: For the most part it indicates the freshness of a wine - very few wines of the world are meant to age. The vintage is essentially the summation of climatic conditions in a given area over a period of time as it relates to temperature, humidity and wind velocity. Most areas of the world that grow grapes can ripen grapes. once the grapes are ripe, the winemaker can monitor its development and produce a good wine. There are regions of the world whose climatic condition and wine making methods along with its environment produce wines that do improve with age. We then, for these wines, use the vintage to determine better years and the length of maturation.
Q: What is the best temperature to serve my wines?
A: Generally speaking, whites, roses and sparkling wines are served chilled. Chilled would simply mean twenty minutes in an ice and water bath or several hours in a refrigerator. Over chilling a wine can mask its qualities, i.e. bouquet and flavor would be dulled. Red wines are best served slightly under US room temperature or about 65 degrees F. This brings out the best the red wine has to offer. There are some red wines which are better served cooled, e.g., LoDuca Red Lambrusco, Sangria and a light red like Beaujolais, especially on a hot summer day.
Q: When I travel to Italy and drink the wines, they do not contain sulfites. Why do the Italian wines available in the US contain sulfites?
A: The wines in Italy do contain sulfites, except for maybe a handful of organic producers. The wine laws in Italy do not require labeling of sulfites. However, any wines exported to the US or made in the US must contain labeling that states "contain sulfites". But just like other countries, there are a handful of wineries in the US that do not use sulfites. Sulfites are used in the wine making process in the form of Potassium Metabisulfite. The chemical is used to control unwanted fermentation in vats or hoppers after the grapes are picked. It is used in a solution to clean all equipment in the winery i.e. hoses, tanks, barrels, etc. Sulfites are also used to arrest fermentation in order to leave residual sugar in a finished wine.
Q: I notice LoDuca Bros Wine is based in Wisconsin. How can I buy your wines in Los Angeles, CA?
A: LoDuca Wines are sold in forty states and still expanding. Simply visit our website: www.LoDucaWines.com, click on the link "Distributors" and a US map will pop up. Click on the state you are interested in and you will find the name of our distributor in your area with the contact name and phone number. They will then direct you to a retailer in your area.
Q: What glasses should I use to serve my wine?
A: Generally a small glass is used for white wine, a larger glass for red and a tall flute is used for sparkling wine. Typically, popular priced glassware in these three shapes is adequate. However, at one time I was converted to the legendary prowess of Riedel glassware. these glasses are constructed to emphasize the qualities of a given wine e.g. Chardonnay, Sauterne, Burgundy, etc. They are pricey, well-made and need extra care in handling - the stems are very thin.
Q: Can I buy your wines directly from you if I order a large quantity?
A: I am afraid not. In the US a distribution is set up regulated by the Federal and State governments. These regulations prohibit us or any other wholesaler/importer from selling directly to the public. You must buy your wine and spirits from appropriately licensed retailers and restaurateurs.