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Moscato Gains Hip-Hop Cred; 2011’s Biggest Wine Stories

"I've been down with the Moscato since the wayback."Photo: iStockphoto

• The latest beverage to get a boost from hip-hop lyrics: Moscato. Specifically Martini's Moscato d'Asti, which appears to have been released specifically in response to the wine's recent mentions in songs by Drake, Soulja Boy, and Roscoe Dash among others. [HipHopWired]

• Croatia, historically home to hundreds of thousands of acres of vineyards (and the genetic source of the Zinfandel grape), is slowly trying to get into the international wine game after war and ethnic conflicts destroyed most of their vines. [Bloomberg]

• This season's Bachelor is Sonoma winemaker Ben Flajnik, who previously appeared on The Bachelorette but went home single. Prepare for a lot of wine country screentime. [Grub Street SF, Eater SF]

Wine Spectator runs through the biggest wine stories of 2011, including one on corkage etiquette and another giving high praise for California Pinot Noirs. [Wine Spectator]

• After weeks of unseasonably balmy weather in New York State, it just got cold enough this week to start harvesting ice wine grapes in the Finger Lakes. The grapes have to freeze on the vine before you can pick them, you see. [Democrat and Chronicle]

• The growth of the wine industry on California's central coast has meant there's a whole new world of food there that was never there before, with stuff like artisanal cheese and organic vegetables. [OC Register]

Times wine critic Eric Asimov has been doing double duty for the past three months as restaurant critic, something he hasn't done in seven years. What has he found that's changed? "Brooklyn is now full of wonderfully exciting restaurants [! ... and] ingredients today are generally far superior to what they were 10 years ago." [NYT]

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