Moscato has a variety of different names around the world. The word “Moscato” is Italian, while in Spanish, the wine is called Moscatel, and in French, it’s called Muscat. Whatever you call it, Moscato generally refers to a family of grapes that produce various wines, including sweet, sparkling wines, aromatic whites, rosés, and sometimes even reds.
There are so many amazing styles of Moscato out there that it can be difficult to know where to start. There are so many incredible types of Moscato out there. You really can’t go wrong with this lovely, sweet style.
What is Moscato Wine?
While there are many different styles of Moscato with many different notes, it is mostly known for its sweet flavors of peaches, nectarines, and orange blossoms. Moscato is made from the Muscat grape, one of the oldest wine grapes in the world. The most commonly planted variety of Muscat grape is Muscat Blanc. Muscat Blanc likely originated in Greece and was brought by the Romans to France.
Muscat grapes are unique, as they’re incredibly sweet and can be eaten as table grapes or even used to make raisins, in addition to being used in winemaking. This sugar is what gives Moscato its sweetness.
Another notable characteristic of Moscato is its perfumed aromas of mandarin orange, ripe pear, sweet Meyer lemon, orange blossom, and honeysuckle. This comes from an aromatic compound called linalool, which is also found in mint, citrus, flowers, and cinnamon.
Since Muscat grapes have been grown for thousands of years, you can really find them growing worldwide. Muscat-based wines come from France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Israel, the United States, and even Australia. Because there are so many different varieties of Muscat grapes grown worldwide, there are a huge variety of Moscato wines out there.
The different varieties of Moscato Wine
The five main varieties of Moscato are:
1. Sparkling and Semi-Sparkling
Most wines labeled “Moscato” are typically made in this style, with at least a hint of fizz. The Italian wines Moscato d’Asti (semi-sparkling) and Asti Spumante (sparkling) are classic examples of this style.
Both Moscato d’Asti and Asti Spumante have the Italian DOCG certification, the highest certification available, meaning they have a protected guarantee of origin. Semi-sparkling and sparkling Moscatos are usually aromatic and sweet but balanced by lively acidity, bubbles, and a clean mineral finish.
2. Still Moscato
This type of Moscato has no bubbles. Some types of still Moscato are made with Muscat Blanc grapes, while others are made from varieties like Muscat of Alexandria.
Two wonderful varieties of still Moscato to try are Moscatel from Spain and Muskateller from Austria. Still, Moscatos are often dry on the palate, but since they’re so aromatic and fruity, they trick the brain into thinking they taste sweet.
3. Pink Moscato
If you’re browsing your local wine shop for a sweet rosé, chances are you’ll come across a lovely-looking bottle of Pink Moscato. Pink Moscato is not really a classic Moscato style but is actually made from regular Muscat grapes, with a touch of Merlot added to achieve a lovely pink color. Flavors are usually fairly similar to regular Moscato, with a subtle hint of strawberry.
4. Red Moscato
While on the rarer side, Red Moscatos do exist. Red Moscato is made from a rare grape variety called Black Muscat, a cross between a rare Italian red grape called Schiava and Muscat of Alexandria. Flavor-wise, it usually carries raspberry, rose petals, and violets, with subtle roasted notes of Assam black tea.
5. Dessert Moscato
While all Moscato is usually fairly sweet, dessert varieties of Moscato take the sweetness to another level.
There is a huge variety of dessert Moscatos worldwide, from the French Muscat de Rivesaltes and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise to the Spanish Moscatel Sherry, which has rich caramel flavors the Portuguese Moscatel de Setúbal, which is made with the rare Moscatel Roxo grapes. Australia’s Rutherglen Muscat is one of the sweetest dessert wines in the world, so if you have a major sweet tooth, definitely give it a try.
Our top Moscato Wines
Moscato comes in a huge variety of styles and flavors, so choosing which bottle to start with can be hard. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Moscato wines on the market today. Whether you like your Moscato pink or white, still or sparkling, sweet or dry, you’re sure to find something you love on this list.
André Moscato is a lovely, classic Moscato produced in California. It’s a sparkling Moscato that is sweet, citrusy, and bubbly, with hints of tropical fruit. The citrus notes lead to a strong, crisp finish. It can be served chilled, over ice, or even mixed into a cocktail. It’s a perfect summer wine, as it’s fresh, sweet, and easy to sip.
Cupcake Vineyards Moscato
Hailing from Italy’s renowned Tre Venezie region, Cupcake Vineyards Moscato is a sweet, fruit-forward Moscato with delicate floral aromas of jasmine, hibiscus, and wildflowers. Flavor-wise, this wine offers lovely fruity notes of melon, honeysuckle, and orange blossom, all of which lead to a refreshing, zesty finish.
Cupcake also offers a wonderful Moscato d’Asti, a sparkling, effervescent Moscato with nectarine, honey, and peach flavors.
Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante
Barefoot Bubbly’s Moscato Spumante is an incredible, deliciously sweet sparkling wine. Although it hails from California, it has all the bold flavor and fizzy effervescence of an Italian Spumante. Barefoot’s Moscato Spumante is ripe with flavors of apricot and peach and crisp acidity. The finish is long and luxurious, with flavors of tangerine.
This versatile Moscato is perfect for a special occasion, a night in with friends, or a brunch Mimosa. Barefoot Bubbly also does a wonderful Red Moscato, ripe with fruity flavors of cherry, raspberry, and citrus.
Mirassou Moscato is like summer in a bottle. It’s a lively white Moscato that opens with light floral and fresh fruit aromas. The palate has notes of sweet peach, ripe pineapple, honey, and refreshing citrus. The finish is extremely bright, making this a delightful wine to sip on a hot summer day. It’s slightly less sweet than other Moscatos, but the fruity flavors keep it from being dry. It is crisp, refreshing, and incredibly satisfying.
Hailing from Italy, Bartenura Moscato is a frizzante wine, which is a term meaning slightly fizzy. It’s not as bubbly as a full-on spumante wine, but instead, it has more delicate bubbles that dance across the palate.
This wine is crisp and refreshing, with aromatic notes of wildflowers, ripe melons, and honey, and flavors of pears, nectarines, and apricots. A classically sweet Moscato, this wine is easy to sip and pairs well with just about anything.
Yellow Tail Moscato
Yellow Tail Moscato is made in South Eastern Australia. It has tons of natural sweetness, with bright fruit aromas of peach and passionfruit. The palate is soft, with beautiful flavors of strawberry, sherbert, and tropical fruit. Yellow Tail’s Moscato has a gentle, perky fizz, which pairs beautifully with the crisp acidity. This wine is best enjoyed chilled, as an aperitif or with lighter fare like salads.
Santero Moscato & Peach
If you can’t get enough peachy flavors in your Moscato, you’ll adore Santero Moscato & Peach. Produced in Italy, this wine is sparkling, sweet, and packed with natural peach flavor. It is light-bodied and crisp, with an intense, delicate bouquet and a velvety flavor.
Bubbly and smooth, this is a great celebration wine, and the peach flavor adds a wonderful fruity element to a variety of cocktails.
Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti
Incredibly fragrant and packed with flavor, the Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti is fresh, sweet, and delicate. You’ll notice flavorful notes of peaches, apricots, white flower blossoms, fresh-cut herbs, and jasmine. Plus, it’s made with organically farmed fruit, so it’s a purchase you can feel good about. This bottle is amazing for sipping, but it also makes a really great gift.
Moscato is made from one of the oldest grape families globally, so you’re bound to find varieties of Moscato produced all around the world. Some are fizzy; some are sweet; some are red; some are white. With so many Moscatos to try, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Hopefully, this list has given you some insight into these types of Moscatos on the market today.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on a bottle of Moscato, let Saucey bring one to you. We offer speedy delivery and no order minimums on a huge variety of wine, beer, and spirits. You can get exactly what you want to deliver right to your door without breaking the bank.