Everything About Moscato Wines & How To Pair Them

Moscato wine is one of the oldest varieties known. The wine had its origin in Egypt and the Middle East. The grape used is muscat grape, and it comes in colors like red, white, pink, golden, etc. Moscato wine is mostly white, but we also have red and pink types. The wine is well-known for its lower alcohol content and fruity flavors such as peaches and orange blossoms.       


The muscat grape variety survives well in the warm climate and grows in many countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Australia, and South Africa. Italy produces the maximum quantity of Moscato wine, and the variety used most is Moscato Bianco. Muscat Ottonel, Muscat Hamburg, Muscat of Alexandria, and Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains are other popular grape types.


Making Moscato wine:

The first step is to harvest the grape at the right stage and extract it as soon as possible. In the Moscato wine, it is the freshness of grapes that gives a fruity aroma. So, winemakers take quantities of the grape juice needed for winemaking and store the rest under cold conditions at 15-degree celsius. Vinification happens in large cellar tanks that do not let carbon dioxide out. Once the mixture reaches the desired alcohol content (5-10% depending on the brand), it is chilled and bottled immediately. The acidity and sweetness depend upon the wine variety. Given below are some of the most popular Moscato wines.


1.  Moscato d’Asti:

It is the most familiar type. It is a white, semi-sparkling wine with a sweet aroma, zippy acidity, and a dry mineral finish. As the name suggests, it is an Italian product from the Piedmont region and made from muscat blanc grapes. It is known as frizzante in Italy. It is less alcoholic and a perfect choice for guzzling at parties. The other must-have Italian Moscato wine is Asti Spumante. It is a fully sparkling wine with 3-5 percent residual sugar and made by the Charmat method.


Both Moscato d’Asti and Spumante go well with plain cakes, fruit tarts, dry fruits, and Tuscan biscuits. You can also pair them with meat like salami and seafood like mollusks and oysters.


2.  Moscatel and Muskateller:

If you are fond of non-carbonated, still wine, you go for the Muscat wines from Spain, Germany, and Austria. These are dry, and their alcohol level could reach up to 12 percent. You could enjoy them sip by sip as they are very dry yet have sweet aromatic flavors of orange blossom, pear, and honeysuckle.


Non-sparkling wines like Moscatel go well with spicy cuisines, dark chocolates, and cheese varieties.



3.  Moscato dessert wines:

For people who are new to drinking, Moscato wines are the best option. But the mature wine-lovers have Moscato as a dessert wine. French wines such as Muscat de Rivesaltes and Australian Rutherglen Muscat are some of the sweetest wines. To increase the sweetness, they are oak-aged or dried partially.


You can have these Moscato wines with cheesecakes, fruit pies, and even pour them on icecreams.


4.  Pink Moscato:

The Muscat grape has around 200 varieties. One of them is Moscato Rosa, which is pink in color and is common in northern Italy. But the winemakers add red grapes like merlot for producing the pink Moscato wines like  Brachetto d’Acqui, Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato, Liberty Creek Pink Moscato, etc. As there are various methods of obtaining the pink Moscato, this wine comes in different flavors, like, strawberry, vanilla, and caramel.


Pink Moscato wine is sweet and light. It is a wise choice to have it with sandwiches, cheese, and in cocktails. You can use them in the lunch menu with foods like crabs, prawns, cured meat, Chinese, etc.







5.  Red/Black Moscato:

It is produced from black/orange muscat grapes. These are fragrant and sweet with bold flavors of raspberry, wild cherries, and peaches. It could have citrus and creamy finish based on the brands.


It goes well with spicy dishes and cheeses. So, you could have red Moscato with pizzas, roasted peppers, and meatballs, and desserts.


Moscato Food Pairings Tips:

     Moscato wines are best as dessert wines. They accentuate the sweetness of dishes like apple desserts, cashew tarts, fruit-based desserts, cookies, etc. You can pair them with appetizers, main course, and make cocktails too.


     Sweet Moscato can balance spicy and salty dishes. Therefore, they are great accompaniments to Thai, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. It also goes well with raw vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and green onions.


     You should avoid serving Moscato wine with dishes that have a bitter taste. Therefore do not pair these wines with coffee-based desserts like tiramisu, chocolate desserts, and food items with citrus and acidic marinades.

Final Thoughts:

Moscato or the muscat wine is so popular that wine-lovers celebrate World Moscato day on May 9th every year. You can also use the muscat grape variety as a table grape or for making raisins.


Though grown in different countries, Italy is the largest producer of Moscato wines. Its low alcohol content and sweet toast are appealing to beginners. Therefore, if you want to drink heartily and do not want to feel drunk, Moscato is the right choice.

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