What is Moscato Wine?
Fruity, floral, and easy to sip, Moscato is one of those wines craved by wine enthusiasts old and new.
It’s the perfect wine to have with or as a dessert and often an ideal pairing for the spiciest foods.
Versatile and full of personality, Italian Moscato comes in various flavors and styles, so we’d be remiss not to mention the main types of this beloved dessert wine.
Let’s explore everything there is to know about one of the most popular wines out there.
What Type of Wine is Moscato?
Originating from Northern Italy, Moscato boasts fragrant tropical fruit, citrus, and white flower notes that tantalize the senses.
Produced from the famously perfumey muscat grape, also referred to as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Named for its small berries and seeds, Moscato is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world and can be found throughout Europe and the New World.
While Moscato is classified as a white wine, it can also be found in blush hues.
There are many varieties of Moscato ranging from dry to sweet and still to sparkling.
Regarding alcohol content, dry Moscato is moderately boozy with 11-13% ABV, which is typical of most white wine.
Sweeter Moscatos are incredibly light, only containing about 5-6% ABV. This is because most of the sugar in a sweet Moscato hasn’t been converted to alcohol during winemaking.
Speaking of sugar, is Moscato a mostly sweet or mostly dry wine, or is it both?
Is Moscato Sweet or Dry?
While Moscato is fragrant with orange blossom, honeysuckle, strawberry, and violet notes, it’s not just a sweet wine.
The truth is, it all comes down to the winemaker, as the residual sugar depends on how much is left behind and how much is converted into alcohol.
However, even with a dry Moscato, it can be easy to mistake it as being automatically sweet as its fruit and floral notes are that potent.
Let’s explore the various types of Moscato to learn more about its beautifully expressive flavor profile.
Types of Moscato Wine
Every wine lover should know six main types of Moscato, as Moscato is one of the most versatile wines when it comes to sipping and food pairing.
1. White Moscato
Crafted from Muscat Blanc grapes, this wine enchants with apricot, honeysuckle, and orange blossom flavors. It offers a teasingly bubbly mouthfeel while maintaining its smooth character. Often referred to as "Still Moscato," this type tends to be drier, with sugar levels ranging from lower to practically none.
2. Pink Moscato
A delightful blend of smoothness and tanginess, this light and sweet sipper playfully tickles your taste buds with hints of red fruit and floral notes. If your palate craves the embrace of raspberry and pomegranate, this is the sweet delight you've been seeking.
3. Red Moscato
Hailing from Italy and crafted from black Muscat grapes, Red Moscato bursts forth with flavors of raspberries, violets, and roses. Beyond the red fruit and floral symphony, a subtle undercurrent of spice adds to its allure.
4. Moscato d’Asti (Sparkling Moscato)
Journey to Italy, where sparkling Moscato reigns supreme under the prestigious Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG) classification. This sweet, lightly sparkling wine, often called "fizzante," delights the senses with vibrant fruit flavors and remarkably low alcohol content.
5. Asti Spumante
In the heart of Italy, alongside Moscato d’Asti, you'll find Asti Spumante, another gem of the semi-sparkling world. Crafted from Muscat Blanc grapes, it tantalizes with its aromatic profile, zippy acidity, and flavors reminiscent of Champagne.
6. Dessert Moscato
These wines come in various forms, all as sweet as honey. Depending on their origin, you may encounter notes of nectarine, peach, and orange. Some of the sweetest variations hail from Australia, while in Spain, the silky-smooth Moscatel Sherry unveils delightful caramel flavors. France, Sicily, and Greece also offer superbly sweet Moscatos waiting to be explored.
Moscato Food Pairings
Moscato is a true chameleon of white wines, boasting remarkable versatility when it comes to food pairings.
A dry Moscato effortlessly complements robust cheeses like Humboldt Fog, zesty starters such as bruschetta, and spicy California rolls.
When indulging in a sweet Moscato, steer your palate toward spicier delights, like a steaming bowl of Thai green curry, garlic chicken wings, or a delectable slice of Hawaiian pizza.
As for the delightful Pink Moscato, a favorite among summer sippers, it gracefully accompanies lighter meat dishes such as fish tacos, seared salmon, shrimp scampi, or succulent honey-glazed pork belly.
You’ll Never Go Wrong With Moscato
A delightful Italian wine with a distinct sweet flavor, Moscato is an easy favorite for most.
Its range and versatility as a sweet or dry wine, a boozy or low ABV wine, and its capability to handle both fresh fish and spicy comfort food make Moscato perfect for just about any food or occasion.
Visit Macy’s Wine Shop to discover more delectable wines like Moscato.
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