How To Serve Moscato Wine
If you are a wine drinker, you likely know how to serve various wines chilled, at room temperature, and so on.
But if you are new to wine or if you are simply new to Moscato wine it is important to know the right way they should be served, to most effectively bring out all the aromas and flavors.
- Sparkling Moscato wines should be served at the coldest temperatures around 40° F to keep them crisp.
- Fortified Moscato wines, on the other hand, should be served warm, at room temperature generally 60° to 70° F. This helps to bring out their sweetness.
- Still white and pink Moscato wines should be served almost as chilled as sparkling Moscato wines similar to traditional white wines.
- Still, red Moscato wines should be served a little warmer than still whites around 50° F but cooler than room temperature.
Muscat Of Hamburg / Black Muscat
A black-skinned Muscat grape, this cross of Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria, graces garden centers and dinner tables worldwide. As a table grape, probably its best-known incarnation is under the Muscat du Ventoux appellation which covers its production and commercialisation by professional grapegrowers, but it is also tended by amateur gardeners around the globe.
Crossed in the UK in the mid-19th Century, Muscat of Hamburg is only occasionally encountered in wine, with such cultivation reportedly taking place in various parts of North America, eastern Europe, and into China.
It is one of the parents of the popular Japanese variety, .
Moscato Dasti Vs Asti Wine
But do not confuse Moscato dAsti with Asti wine.
While both are made from Moscato Bianco grapes, their alcohol content is not the same due to a difference in grape quality. Moscato dAsti has 4.5% 6.5% alcohol while the Asti wine is 7% 9% alcoholic. For this reason, Moscato dAsti wine is sweeter than the Asti wine.
Moreover, it has a soft sparkle, making it creamier and richer. Make sure to store your wine correctly on a rack to get the most value and flavor out of it.
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Beloved by many, hated by few, and misunderstood by most, moscato is certainly one of the most talked-about wines on the market. Fizzy, frothy and pleasantly sweet, its no surprise that this particular wine has skyrocketed in popularity. However, not all moscato is created equal.
The moscato that most people know and love is moscato dAsti, the popular off-dry/sweet wine from northern Italy. When vinified well, these pleasantly effervescent wines are sweet and balanced by tons of acidity, and when coupled with their signature low-ABV, they are seriously easy to drink. Moscatos viticultural potential goes far beyond just Italy, however.
Moscato dAsti is produced from the moscato bianco grape, otherwise known as muscat or muscat blanc à petits grains. Our top choice G.D. Vajra Moscato d’ Asti hails from the original Piedmont region in Italy, but the grape is also commonly vinified in southern France, Alsace and Greece, each of which produces very different expressions of the grape. Moral of the story? This versatile grape can do a whole lot.
Confused? Not to worry. Were breaking down everything you need to know about moscato/muscat below, as well as recommending some of the best expressions of this versatile variety.
What Exactly Is Moscato Wine
Lets first take a look at the different uses of the term:
- Muscat , a family of grapes used in wine-making
- Moscato dAsti, an Italian sparkling wine
- Judah Moscato, Italian rabbi, poet, and philosopher of the sixteenth century
- Vincent Moscato, former French international rugby player, now radio host, actor and comedian
Obviously, for this post, we are focusing on the first two which refer to wine. Originally from Italy, Moscato dAsti is a sweet wine thats low in alcohol and made from the Moscato Bianco grape. It is being made around the world in both a still and slightly sparkling style.
The common attributes of Moscatos are that they tend to have some sweetness, are light and typically lower in alcohol. Plus they are made from one of the Muscat grape varieties.
As you can probably guess by the above definition, Muscat isnt one type of grape its a whole family of grapes which includes over 200 different varieties! The most common Muscat grape varieties used in wine production are:
- Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
- Muscat Rose à Petits Grains
- Muscat Rouge à Petits Grains
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Pairing Foods With Pink And Red Moscatos
Being from the same grape means Moscatos all share a general flavor profile sweet, fruity and a touch woodsy. However, the little differences between add up, shifting the pairing options ever so slightly. Here are a few tips:
- If youre drinking a Pink Moscato, its hint of Merlot can handle a bit more heartiness. Bring it to the dinner table try pairing this unique wine with chicken, ham or flaky, buttery seafood like crab or lobster. Though Moscatos typically rule the dessert menu, Pink Moscato is pretty versatile, and can even handle teaming up with a bit of steak.
- If you do opt for the traditional dessert route, keep it simple and pair a Pink Moscato with other vanilla-type flavors that echo the notes present in the wine think shortcakes, caramels or a shortbread-type cookie.
- Red Moscato on the other hand, though still made with the Muscat grape, tends to stand up to bolder flavors than its lighter counterparts do. Try pairing with BBQ fare, soft cheeses or anything spicy.
Grape Varieties As Wine Types
For many consumers, wine type means the same thing as which grape variety. Many are loyal to one particular grape, either through habit or firm preference. Furthermore, many information sources focus on grape varieties as a way to navigate through types of wine this is broadly a New-World approach.
In fact, many different styles or types of wines can be made from the same grape. And often where the grape is grown can have a big impact on whether the wine produced is a light or heavy red wine, unoaked or oaked white, and so on.
As mentioned above, there are around 10,000 known wine grape varieties. However, many of these are not in regular commercial use Wine-Searcher currently has a very comprehensive list of many hundreds of varieties on our database, though a few dozen dominate global production.
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Moscato Wine With Cheese
The best food to pair with Moscato is cheese. And the best Moscato cheese pairing is well, youll have to find out for yourself!
Moscato and cheese is a classic combo, but its not without its finesses. Our tip is to go for a French chèvre or another creamy goats cheese at the end of your dinner. Cheeses with sharp flavours and pungent aroma should be avoided you rather want to go for light and fresh cheeses such as soft goats cheese, brie, crescenza or gorgonzola. These cheeses make a good match with the sweet hints of apricot and peach characteristic of Moscato wines. Another good idea is to add fresh figs and nuts, which will bring out some of the more complex Moscato aromas.
What Is The Origin Of Moscato Wine
The roots of Moscato are lost in time so, unsurprisingly, there are a few theories as to its origins. Many researchers believe it originates in ancient Persia and Egypt while others are adamant that it was first farmed in ancient Greece and Rome.
Wine production was an important activity in each of these civilizations and references to sweet styles of wine appear in numerous classical texts. However, theres no specific mention of the Moscato grape.
In 1230, an English Franciscan scholar mentioned a sweet grape in a wine tract. A century later, this works French translation includes a mention of “vin extrait de raisins muscats”.
Wherever it hails from, Moscatos unique aromas and flavors make it a welcome addition to the world of Vitis vinifera!
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What Are Some Moscato Wine Types
While you may find you are most familiar with Moscato white wine with its amber color and sweet flavor, you can also find both pink and red varieties.
Pink Moscato wine is primarily composed of Muscat grapes and a bit of Merlot to give it its pink hue. The blend embodies the same characteristics of Moscato white wine with just an added touch of strawberry flavor.
Blending Moscato white with reds such as Syrah or Zinfandel produces Red Moscato. This wine retains the signature taste and aroma of Moscato but with added notes of wild cherry, berry, and peach.
Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato 2011 $12
Courtesy of Innocent Bystander
This light pink, slightly sweet Australian Moscato offers a flirtatious mix of strawberries and cream with a whisper of rose petal on the nose. Intense sweet fruit, playful frizz ante bubbles, and an unexpected, enduring finish all collide to make this a must-try Moscato.
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What Is The Difference Between Red And White Winemaking
Red wines are made from black grapes AKA red wine grapes or red grapes. These tend to look black-purple, with varying levels of blue tint, and can actually be reddish in color on occasion.
The color does not come principally from the flesh but from the skins. Hence, red wine is made by fermenting juice and skins together. This also provides tannins and various compounds.
White grapes are generally made by fermenting the juice of white grapes away from the skins. It is possible to make white wines from many red grapes, provided the juice is separated from the skins as soon as possible and just ferment the juice. Blanc de Noirs Champagne base wine is made like this.
What Is The Difference Between Moscato And White Wine
Some white wines are made with white grapes, while others are made with red grapes that have had their skins removed. Moscato wine, which has a similar color to white wine but comes from a different grape family, has a similar flavor profile. Riesling is sweet, but Moscato is the sweetest of the bunch.
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Master Vintner Varietal Spotlight: Moscato
This is the fourth in our series of blog posts taking a look at the type of grapes we use in Master Vintner wine kits. Grape types are known as ‘varietals’ and each one has its own unique character and response to the sunlight and soil of the region they’re grown in. I’ll be talking about all of the grapes we use in our Master Vintner kits in turn, to help you understand the flavors, aromas and history of each. MoscatounrelatedMuscat blanc à Petits GrainsMaster Vintner Winemaker’s Reserve Moscato
What Are The Four Key Wine Descriptors
Needs no explanation. The opposite of sweet is dry. A wine can also be medium-dry or off-dry .
We already talked about this. Acidity is a big deal for white wines, and it makes them refreshing and crisp . Lower acidity makes a wine taste fat.
Another one weve already covered. Its all about the tannins for red wine. High tannin wines are astringent, maybe even bitter and inky. Lower tannin wines are smooth and soft, and depending on your tastes, more drinkable.
This refers to the perceived weight and viscosity of the wine. A full-bodied wine feels thick, coating the sides of the glass as you swirl. A light-bodied wine is almost like water. A medium-bodied wine is in-between.
The best way to wrap your taste buds around the four primary wine descriptors is to make yourself a strong cup of tea. Sip it black, without anything added. Thats what something very tannic will taste like . Now, add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste it. Thats acidity joining the party. Combined with the tannic taste, it should taste astringent. Now, stir in some sugar for some sweetness. This mellows everything out to make it taste soft.
There’s a fifth thing to be aware of when describing wineflavor. Unlike the four key descriptors, flavor encompasses every descriptor under the sun and is far more subjective.
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Before We Begin: Wine Sweetness Chart Basics
So how do wine makers and sommeliers determine a wines relative sweetness? They typically use a chart known as a dryness scale. The drier a wine, the less sweet its perceived as being.
The least sweet wines are considered dry. The scale ranges from dry to very sweet on a point-system in the following order dry , off-dry , medium dry or semi-sweet , sweet and finally, very sweet .
Key Producers Brands And Buying Tips
Moscatos are typically easy to find in grocery stores, wine shops, and liquor stores as well as online. The moscato you’ll find in the supermarket will often be bargain basement, mass-produced wines going for less than $10. It’s worth seeking out higher-quality moscato for just a few dollars more. Look for options from Piedmont, Italy as well as Northern California. If you can’t find moscato, look for another frizzante white wine or a sweet Riesling.
- Charles Smith Wines
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Moscato & Moscatel Dessert Wine
Moscato & Moscatel wines are typically known as a dessert wine. They can be very sweet with a lower alcohol content that a typical glass of wine. Because of this combination, its a great wine to sip after dinner, when youre winding down your evening, but want to have a little something with your dessert.
Popular Sweet White Wines: Nine Differences Between Riesling And Moscato Wine
Inthe world of white wines, most newbies enter through the door of sweet wines.Sweet wines are smooth and easier to drink. Dry wines are an acquired taste,they are known as dry wines because of the dry mouth feeling that they leave.Sweet white wines do not produce the same dryness due to the absence oftannins.
Wineconsultants often reveal that the most selling sweet white wines are Rieslingand Moscato. Both the wines have a crisp and refreshing taste and are favoriteamongst sweet wine lovers. If you’re new to the wine world then you might notbe aware of the differences between Riesling and Moscato. At Tessora’s Barra diVino, we have compiled a list of the nine differences between Riesling andMoscato wine.
As they say, “Riesling is sweet, but Moscato is the sweetest.”
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New World Vs Old World Moscato
Being versatile, Moscato grapes grow in many wine regions and in various climates all over the globe. Theyre very popular in Italy, Portugal, the Alsace/Elsass region by the French-German border, as well as in the United States and Australia.
Due to actual climate differences, Old World Moscato tends to be more restrained, with a lighter body and a lower alcohol content. In general, the wineries in the Old World also tend to have more restrictions and regulations to follow. They are therefore considered more expensive and traditional, but, in real terms, have less potential to develop into something new and exciting.
Its therefore no surprise that New World Moscato is characterized equally as varied, pioneering and more interesting. It also grows in hotter climates and has a fuller body, higher alcohol content, and bolder fruit flavor.
Is Moscato Wine Red Or White
Rosé, white, and sweet Moscato wines pair exquisitely with desserts and appetizers because of their low alcohol content. Moscatos are made from the Muscat grape, which is also used to make raisins, and have flavors of sweet peach, orange blossom, and nectarine in them.
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Is Merlot Considered Red
Merlot is one of the most popular red wines in the world, and it is the second most popular in the United States, after Cabernet Sauvignon. Its made from red-skinned grapes that can adapt to a variety of climates to produce food-friendly wines at a variety of price points, and its known for its soft, sensual texture and approachable style.
Is Pink Moscato Red Or White
Despite differences in fizz, color, and dryness, all Moscato wines made from the Muscat grape have a fairly consistent flavor profile. Pink Moscato Pink Moscato is a delightful variation on the wine, made with white Moscato wine made from the Muscat Blanc grape and a dash of Merlot for good measure.
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Best For Gifting: Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’asti
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Piedmont, Italy | ABV: 5% | Tasting Notes: Canned Peaches, Apricots, Fresh-cut herbs, Floral
This fragrant, flavor-packed moscato dAsti oozes with flavors of canned peaches, apricots, white flower blossoms, fresh-cut herbs and jasmine. Not sure what to get the sweet wine lover in your life? This bottle promises to impressand the fact that its made with organically-farmed fruit is a bonus. Snag one for yourself while youre at it.