Moscato – A Cultural Phenomenon
Moscato is a sweet wine that pairs well with desserts, fruits, and cheeses. It’s light and bubbly, and often slightly spritzy or even fizzy due to higher levels of residual sugar.
It is a fragrant wine with a basket of likable flavors like lychee, tangerine, rose, and ripe peach with a singular grapey aroma. It is also refreshing and low in alcohol.
Moscato has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent years. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is fruity, fragrant and gently sparkling with a low alcohol content. It is perfect for new wine enthusiasts and can be enjoyed by seasoned tasters as well.
A chilled glass of moscato goes really well with desserts such as a peach or nectarine tart or a warm berry pie. It also works well with nuttier flavors such as a buttery almond pastry.
The muscato grapes used to make Moscato produce perfumed aromas of mandarin orange, ripe pear, sweet Meyer lemon and orange blossom thanks to a naturally occurring aromatic compound called linalool. It’s an incredibly fragrant and light wine with a distinct sweetness that pairs perfectly with sweet fruits, cheeses and Asian dishes such as Thai or Vietnamese cuisine.
The Moscato craze of the last few years brought new attention to this versatile wine. But while it was good for business for Heidi Barrett of California’s La Sirena, the increased popularity also came with challenges.
Moscato Rosa, or Pink Muscat, is a light-sparkling wine that originates in north-eastern Italy and is grown in parts of Europe and Australia as well. It is sweet and aromatic with flavors of red berries, peaches, and apricots.
It is a member of the Muscat family of grapes that date back to ancient Greece or Egypt and was carried by Romans throughout their empire. Its low alcohol content and fragrant aroma make it an ideal dessert wine. Most versions of Moscato are lightly sparkling, but some wines are still.
A wide variety of Moscato wines exist, from Italy’s sweet, lightly sparkling Moscato d’Asti (pronounced frizz-on-tay) to the ruby red Moscato Rosa. These wine grape varieties are highly aromatic and light in taste, with tropical fruit flavors and a low alcohol content.
The popular Moscato d’Asti style is fresh, gently fizzy and sweet with floral and honey flavor notes with a low alcohol content of 5%. These wines are best served chilled and pair well with a variety of light appetizers such as prosciutto-wrapped melon or mild cheeses and fresh fruit salad.
The Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains grapes originated in Greece and the Middle East before making its way to Italy and France during Roman times. Today, this versatile grape is grown throughout the world.
Moscato has found a new foothold in recent years, thanks in part to rappers and pop culture figures singing its praises. The wine has a low alcohol content and delicate notes that are both fruity and floral. It’s perfect for the beginner wine drinker or can be nuanced enough for a seasoned taster.
Moscato wines have an average alcohol percentage of 5% to 7%. This makes them light and refreshing. Most are sweet, but some are lightly fizzy (known as frizzante). The popular Moscato d’Asti style of wine from Italy is both sweet and lightly sparkling, adding a delightful touch of fizz to the experience. Its aromas of orange blossom, lychee, and mandarin are a delight for the senses.
Moscato is ideal for pairing with Asian cuisine, especially those dishes with a ginger or cinnamon component. It is also a good match for spicy Indian curries and Szechuan dishes. The sweetness of the wine helps to tame the heat.
It also pairs well with desserts. The fruity characteristics of the wine make it particularly suited to pies, from apple to raspberry to peach. It is also a wonderful complement to cheesecake.
The sparkling nature of Moscato and its low alcohol content make it a natural choice for appetizers and sweet desserts. It is also a great accompaniment to spicy foods and salty snacks. It goes well with many cheeses, including blue cheese, goat cheese, pepperjack, and brie. It also pairs nicely with layered cakes such as baklava and siropiasta.