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Get to Know Moscato

Get to Know Moscato

What is it?

Moscato is a name for one of the grapes in the Muscat family. The Muscat family includes over 200 grape varietals and make a variety of different wines and styles in red and white from bone dry and aromatic to sweet dessert wines and even fortified wines.  It is one of the most ubiquitous grapes in the world and is grown in most wine regions.

 

Where is it grown?

Although grown all over the world there are several notable regions.  Asti in Piedmont is arguably the most famous region.  Here they produce slightly sweet, sparkling examples of Moscato that have become the principle style the grape is recognised for. In Spain and Rutherglen, Australia it is used to make fortified Moscatels and Liqeuer Muscat respectively.  Whereas in Alsace it is used to produce dry, crisp, aromatic white table wines. 

What does it taste like?

Moscato d’Asti is an off dry/semi sweet sparkling wine with low alcohol and fresh flavours of grape, honeydew melon and pineapple.  In Rutherglen, the wines age in barrels after fortification so develop nutty, oxidative character along with their luscious sweetness.  Alsatian Muscat wines are crisp and lean with pronounced aromatics of citrus fruit and fresh grapes.

What does it pair with?

Moscato d’Asti is an ideal pairing with spicy Asian food due to it’s light sweetness and low alcohol.  Rutherglen Muscats can be enjoyed with chocolate or most desserts.  Crisp examples from regions such as Alsace work well with seafood, creamy cheeses and veggie pasta sauces.

Fun Fact:

Muscat grape varieties are known to be some of the oldest in the world.  There is evidence that they were grown by the ancient Egyptians as long ago as 800 BC and were written about by Pliny the Elder in Natural History in AD 77.

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