Muscat grapes also go by the name Moscato or Muscatel. It’s one of the oldest and most widespread grape family in the world. Muscat wines have been discovered going all the way back to the ancient Greeks! To familiarize yourself with this popular wine variety, including flavor profile, fermentation techniques, and food pairing, look no further.
Muscat Wine Varieties
Typically, Moscato is an Italian variant of muscat blanc grapes. It has a perfumed aroma with a fruity flavor profile that includes orange, ripe pear and honeysuckle. There are other varieties of Muscat wine that are created by mixing Moscato Blanc with other grapes during fermentation.
Using Muscat of Alexandria grapes can create a similar flavor profile to Moscato Blanc, which is drier, but also sweeter, with a strong aromatic sense of fruits.
Pink Moscato is created by mixing Alexandrian, Austrian, or Italian Muscat with a dollop of Merlot to give it a pink color. The Merlot enriches the flavor, but the natural fruitiness of the Muscat creates a taste like strawberries. Delicious!
There’s a rare variety of Muscat grape that creates a rich dark wine variety known as Red Moscato in Italy, or Black Muscat. The grape is a cross between the Italian grape Schiava and the Alexandrian Muscat. It creates a richer flavor profile that includes notes of raspberry, violets, and even black tea.
Muscato Flavor Profile
Muscat wine has a sweet and fruity flavor profile that takes away from the dryness of a typical white wine. But when the grapes are crossed, or mixed with other varieties during fermentation, the deliciously sweet flavors in the wine take on a new dimension. What does that mean for you? Like all wine, you can find delicious foods year-round to suit the wine. But we’ve got tips on that perfect pairing, to make your job easier.
Muscato Food Pairings
- Cheese: With the fruity, floral aromas of a good Muscat, sharp and strong cheeses make a great pairing. Bleu or assorted French cheeses will bring out the pear, apple, and citrus flavors so characteristic of Muscat wine.
- Spicy Dishes: The sweet, floral notes of Muscat wine go perfectly with spicy foods. Stick with Indian and Thai food, and you’ll love the way the Muscat brings out these spicy, rich flavors and aromas.
- Desserts: Muscat makes the perfect dessert wine! Drier, fruitier Moscato pairs well with baked apple pie, caramel, and vanilla ice cream bringing up the acidic notes in the fruit, and the sweetness of vanilla. For richer tastes, black Muscat pairs well with rich caramels and chocolate, cherries, raspberries or blackberries. Whatever your favorite indulgence, Muscat is sweet enough to hit the spot!
Muscat or Moscato wines have been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. Especially popular in Italy and Portugal, there are some great North American black Muscat varieties that give this sweet, dry wine a richer flavor profile. Whichever variety you choose, Muscat wines are perfect for getting fancy with your favorite dessert.