Muscat has become a cultural phenomenon these days. Over the past few years, the demand for Muscat wine (also known as Moscato wine) has been on the rise, with drinkers searching for a sweeter, lighter wine with a low alcohol percentage. For new wine enthusiasts who are looking for a fruity and floral sweet drink with low price, Muscat wine is highly recommended.
It looks like this wine is more than just a passing trend, so if you are wondering what makes this drink popular, we have enumerated the reasons in this post so you can get ahead of the crowd.
What is Muscat Wine?
Moscato is a sweet Italian wine popular for its fruity notes. This white wine is made from the Muscat grape, which is referred to as a dessert wine with a hint of fizz. Muscat has a low alcohol content, which is around 5-7% – by comparison most of the red wines have 10-12% ABV alcohol content. This is one of the reasons why Moscato is considered as a great dessert drink or the best add-on to a brunch-time spritzer that won’t ruin your entire day.
One of the best regarded and “most noble” of the Muscat grape is the Moscato Bianco and has been cultivated for over 800 years. It is also the variety which makes Moscato popular as the base of Moscato d’Asti, the style that most commercial brands seek to imitate.
The Moscato d’Asti appellation is situated in Piedmont which is north-western Italian region. It was given the highest wine recognition – the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. This recognition is given to the most classic, expressive, wines in the country.
The Various Moscato Wine Styles
Muscat wine popularity continues to rise not just locally but throughout the world. For instance, there are Muscat-based wines not only in Italy but in France, Israel, Austria, Greece, and Australia with country having its own Moscato wine style. Here are some of the popular Moscato styles:
Sparkling and Semi-Sparkling Moscato
Moscato d’Asti is an example of semi-sparkling Italian wine, and Asti Spumante is an example of sparkling wine. Most of the Moscato you will find in the market are made in this style. This particular style of Moscato received the highest DOCG classification. This only means that they have a protected guarantee of origin like Parmigiano-Reggiano. Most of the wines with high DOCG classification are sweet and highly aromatic but are balanced with bubbles, zippy acidity, and a smooth, mineral finish. This Moscato style is perfect for pool party wine.
Pink Moscato is more of a marketing strategy as compared to classic Muscat wine style. This style is made mostly of Muscat grapes with Merlot to provide a ruby-pink color. It is like a classic Moscato flavor with strawberry added on it. Check out Brachetto d’Acqui, one of the popular pink Moscato.
This version of Moscato is made of Muscat Blanc grapes with other varieties, such as Muscat of Alexandria. Some of the best tasting Still Moscato are Muskateller from Austria and Moscatel from Spain. Wines are usually dry to taste, but since aromatics are fruity and sweet, your brain thinks they are sweet. They are perfect, particularly if you are conscious about your carbs.
You seldom see this variety, which is also known as Black Muscat. It is a combination of raspberry, violets and rose petals with some Assam black tea roasted notes. This Muscat grape is cross breed from Schiava an Italian red grape and Muscat of Alexandria. There are lots of Black Muscat producers in the US that you can check out.
Moscato Dessert Wines
There are other varieties that you can try like the French Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and Muscat de Rivesaltes. In southern Spain, you can enjoy the caramel flavored Moscatel Sherry. You will also love the taste of the Southern Portugal, Moscatel de Setubal made of Moscatel Roxo grapes. Another Muscat wine sweet styles in Greece is the Muscat of Samos. In Sicily, Muscat grapes are dried to focus on the sweetness. Rutherglen Muscat in Australia is one of the sweetest styles of Moscato wine in the world. You can pour it over your ice cream.
Now you are aware of the reasons why Muscat wines are popular. Since Moscato wine has less alcohol content, some people even use it as their dessert bringing a true meaning to the phrase “dessert wine”. Another reason is the many variations available in the market, and some Muscat wine is even combined with other ingredients to spice-up its flavor.
The grapey aroma of Muscat is one property which most wine drinkers and makers love. Winemakers love Muscat grape as they can produce dry, sweet, sparkling, dessert or medium wine.
PS: They may sound similar, but Muscadet, Muscardin and Muscadelle are not Muscat Wine family members.