May 9th is National Moscato Day: Our Favorite Moscatos

May 9th is National Moscato Day: Our Favorite Moscatos

Ah, Moscato. Perhaps no other beverage has created such divisive opinions within the community of wine aficionados as the product of the Muscat grape. Although the classic Moscato D’Anti originated in Italy, derivatives and clones of the Muscat grape are now grown from Oregon to New Zealand as demand for the fruity wine soars.

The Gallo Family created National Moscato Day in 2012 to celebrate the light, sparkling sipping wine that’s taken dinner tables, wine wholesalers and liquor stores by storm over recent years.

A fresh bunch of Moscato Bianco grapes, just in time for National Moscato Day! (Credit: Wiki Commons)
A fresh bunch of Moscato Bianco grapes, just in time for National Moscato Day!

Like it or not, the Moscato craze appears here to stay! But which Moscato wines are really worth drinking?

If you’re a lover of Moscato wines – be they Orange Muscat, Muscat Blanc or Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains – then May 9th is bound to be one of your favorite days of spring. But celebrating May 9th (National Moscato Day) in style isn’t quite as simple as picking up a pedestrian bottle of the fizzy wine.

As Richard Jennings, author of over 45,000 tasting notes, once noted:

America’s in the midst of a much bigger wine phenomenon than the sudden upswing in Pinot Noir sales following the 2004 release of the movie Sideways. Sales of slightly sparkling sweet wines with underlying acidity made from the Muscat grape have exploded over the past two years among younger buyers, especially Millennials — the 21 to 30 age group.

Some of these wines, especially from Italy’s Asti region, are terrific. Others, produced by huge wine conglomerates on an industrial basis looking to cash in on the latest trend, are truly dreadful.

So this National Moscato Day, how can you tell which Muscat to enjoy in your dining room, sitting room or custom wine cellar?

Imagine the custom wine cellar of your dreams. Peter Salerno makes it. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)
Imagine the custom wine cellar of your dreams. Peter Salerno makes it. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)

Here’s a great, short list of fabulous Moscatos to enjoy May 9th (or any day)!

Best Moscatos to Enjoy on National Moscato Day

1. Borgo Maragliano La Caliera Moscato D’Asti, 2014 (Italy)

At between $12-16 a bottle at most retailers, La Caliera is our favorite Italian Moscato D’Asti when it comes to a combination of taste and price. While each edition from 2013-2016 is a real winner, our selection is the 2014 vintage, full of green grape, pear and yet not overly sweet. This Borgo Maragliano Moscato D’Asti is a great pair with most desserts (even chocolate!).

The winemaker describes La Caliera as carrying a “fragrance of candied fruit, acacia flowers and a typical musky but delicate bouquet”.

2. Foris Moscato, 2013 (Rogue Valley)

Foris is a great Oregon-based brand that has a knack for versatile, light Moscato. 2013 is our favorite (2012 and 2016 aren’t half-bad either) for its low alcohol content and intriguing citrus quality. Rated an 87 by Wine Enthusiast, we also love Foris for use in mimosas and other wine-mix beverages – primarily due to the low alcohol content and orange flavor we mentioned.

At a price tag of roughly $15-17 per bottle, this is an affordable, enjoyable Moscato.

Custom wine cellar from Peter Salerno Inc. Man Cave Classics.
Custom wine cellar from Peter Salerno Inc. Man Cave Classics.

3. Stemmari Moscato, 2013 (Terre Siciliane)

This beautiful pale yellow Moscato sits neatly at 8.5% ABV and, unlike many Moscatos, serves exceptionally well as an aperitif rather than a dessert wine. Like its Foris counterpart, the 2013 vintage is exceptional, garnering a rating of 90 at the Ultimate Wine Challenge. (The 2012 is also excellent, receiving a score of 86 from Wine Enthusiast.)

Sweeter than some of its counterparts, you’ll also find the price tag a bit sweeter as well – retail average for this bottle is just about $10. If you feel like venturing out of the Asti region and into Sicily, you’ll be highly satisfied with this effort from Stemmari.

Cinco De Mayo Colors: An Official Pantone Color Guide

Cinco De Mayo Colors: An Official Pantone Color Guide

Cinco De Mayo is more than just a big party – although a great excuse to fiesta is always welcome! For Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and people of Mexican heritage worldwide, Cinco De Mayo is a day of national pride, honor and triumph. This article will help you celebrate Cinco De Mayo in proper style!

Cinco De Mayo literally means “May 5th” in Spanish. It’s a celebration of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory at the Battle of Puebla over the heavily-favored French Empire in 1862 – of course, the battle took place on May 5th. On that day, the French forces outnumbered Mexicans by double, but the Mexicans prevailed and established a sense of national pride and unity that had been lost in previous conflicts.

While not exactly an “Independence Day”, Cinco De Mayo is a celebration and recognition of Mexican pride, spirit, and bravery in the face of adversity. Outside Mexico, the holiday is used to promote Mexican culture, customs, food and music throughout the world, and is especially popular in the United States, Canada and Japan.

As you might expect, the colors closely associated with Cinco de Mayo are the official colors of the Mexican flag: red, white and green. But what are the official colors of the flag of Mexico?

Leave it to Design Your Lifestyle – color design aficionados that we are – to provide you with the answer!

Pantone, the world’s foremost authority of color design, has designated the official colors of many of the world’s flags, including Mexico’s. Through the use of the Pantone Color Matching System (CMS), there are uniform names and codes for virtually every color imaginable – including the three primary colors in the Mexican flag.

So when you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, do it properly – and use these three Pantone shades of red, white and green for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

Official Pantone Colors of Cinco de Mayo

Red (Pantone 186)

(Hex Value: C8102E)Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone Red

Green (Pantone 3425)

(Hex Value: 006341)

Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone Green

White

(Hex Value: FFFFFF)Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone White

Memorial Day Tributes: This Year, Say More Than ‘Thank You’.

Why ‘Thank You’ Is Just the Beginning on Memorial Day

Thank you for your service. It’s a phrase that has become almost synonymous with Memorial Day (and to some extent, Veteran’s Day) in America. From billboards to TV ads, graphic design to greeting cards, these 5 words are the catch-all catchphrase that stands for a debt of gratitude that American citizens cannot possibly repay.

And so, with so much to be grateful for in a free country, it might be time to ask ourselves: “Shouldn’t we try to say just a bit more?”

This Memorial Day, say more than "Thank you for your service". (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)
This Memorial Day, say more than “Thank you for your service”. (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)

This line of thinking actually started a year ago, when we met with Peter Salerno, owner of our parent company Peter Salerno Inc. and a veteran of the United States Navy. On our way out of the meeting leading up to Memorial Day, we turned at the door and stated, “Hey – thank you for your service.”

Peter smiled, of course, and nodded his head in a “you’re welcome”. Later that day, we realized that while we meant what we said, Peter was probably going to hear the same 5 words dozens more times over the next several days, and had for decades before that.

This isn’t to say that veterans aren’t happy to hear “thank you for your service”. At their core, most American military veterans are humble, modest, and shy away from personal praise. They’re not looking for individual recognition or to be ‘singled out’ for their heroism and valor.

Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!
Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!

But just because our military heroes don’t ASK for more than a ‘thank you’ doesn’t mean we shouldn’t GIVE it to them.

Think about your own life – what you do, where you’ve been, and what roles you’ve come to occupy in your life. If you’re a teacher, it must be lovely to get your first few “World’s Best Teacher” gifts. As an actor, your first “Break a leg!” is a cool thing to hear. But after countless repetitions of the same well wishes and compliments – whether we mean it or not – those common refrains start to ring a bit hollow and a bit dry.

It doesn’t take much to put a little more effort into your gratitude this Memorial Day! 

If you have a family member, friend, loved one, neighbor or colleague that has served in our nation’s military, take an extra few minutes to find out more about their service, their personal likes and interests. “Design” the military veterans in your life a special show of your thanks – even if it’s as simple as crafting a new way to say “Thank you for your service”.

Take a little time to help a veteran with a project, errand or work around their home. Volunteer to drive an elderly veteran to a Memorial Day Parade or out to lunch. Or do something that’s increasingly rare these days – pick up the phone, send a letter, or make a personal visit.

To the U.S. military veterans and those who gave their lives in service of our country – we know “thank you” isn’t enough to repay you. We also know that you don’t ask for our gratitude, recognition or payment – your sacrifice is selfless. Regardless of why or how you entered the military, the fact remains that you gave of yourselves for the greater good of our country, and you personally protected the freedom and security of families like mine that you will never know or meet.

So this year, we’re choosing not to “thank you for your service”. Because in many ways, we should be thanking you for everything.