Tips on Better Enjoying Moscato Wine 

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When you’re looking at wine on the shelf in the supermarket of whichever store you buy it from, are there any types you might have glossed over before? For some, there might be certain grapes and styles that have never interested them for different reasons. Moscato is one such wine, a sweeter and fruity wine typically from Italy.

While a growing number of people now purchase Moscato wine online, others remain unconvinced, believing perhaps unfairly that Moscato is always too sweet for their palate, that it won’t pair with their food choices, and for some that the alcohol content is too low. Not all of these judgements are unfair, but they do lead to people missing out. Below is our guide on how to better enjoy Moscato wine.

Background: About Moscato Wine

Moscato is a white wine of Italian origins that boasts a sweeter taste profile and light, fruity notes in its aroma. It is produced from the muscat grape, and most of the time is made with a slight sparkle to it, and it is served alongside desserts. In terms of alcohol, Moscato is typically lower than the 10-13 percent ABV that you’d expect from your favourite red wines, instead offering just 5-7 percent.

Broadly speaking, there are 6 main variants of Moscato wine:

  • Moscato d’Asti – The most common of the variants, it’s a white sparkling wine with a sweet taste and is most often the “go-to” Moscato if you were to ask generically for “a bottle of Moscato, please” in a restaurant.
  • Asti Spumante – While the previous variant has a light fizz, known as “frizzante,” the Asti Spumante has a more full sparkle, similar to that of a Champagne or Prosecco. 
  • Pink Moscato – This is made from white Moscato wine mixed with Merlot, and delivers fruit flavours of peach, citrus, nectarine and similar taste, giving it a richer feel than regular Moscato.
  • Still Moscato – This is sometimes referred to as Muscat Blanc and as the name suggests, it doesn’t contain any sparkle, not even a frizzante. The other big difference is that alcohol ABV levels are usually higher in Still Moscato, sometimes up to 12 percent.
  • Red Moscato – The Red Moscato is made using black and orange Muscat grapes, with its rich fruit notes carrying aromas of cherry and peach.
  • Dessert Moscato – The ultimate dessert wine, as far as some are concerned. It’s oak-aged for a rich and satisfying sweetness. What’s more, it’s popular all over the world, including in France and the US.

How to Pair Food with Moscato Wine

It’s common and understandable that people believe Moscato wines are mostly only best paired with a dessert, but it actually really depends on what kind of cuisine you are eating. Of course, white and pink Moscato variants work well with virtually any fruit-based dessert like cherry pie or French tarte tatin, but you can also pair it well with savoury desserts like the cheese board. Drink it with the lighter, fresher cheese like Gorgonzola and you’ll find a very pleasing match. Steer clear of the stinkier cheeses, though.

If Asian food from China, Thailand or Vietnam is on the menu, then Moscato might work very well with your main course! These cuisines are typically strong and aromatic, and the sweetness of the Moscato does a good job balancing that out. If you’re trying to please a beer drinker who doesn’t have beer during their spicy Asian dinner, a glass of Moscato might be just what they need.

Finally, if you have a red Moscato, you should pair it with bold barbecue and spicy flavours, not to mention soft cheese.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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