What is Moscato Wine?

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By: Tom Valenti


So, what is Moscato Wine? This is a traditional type of wine made with white wine grapes known as Muscat.

Read on to learn more about Moscato’s history further to learn about its unique flavor and variations, producers around the world, and how best to pair it with food like a master sommelier.


What is Moscato Wine Made From?

What is Moscato Wine Made From

Moscato wine is made from white wine grapes called Muscat. These grapes are primarily grown in the Piedmont region of Italy but can also be found in Spanish, France, and Germany.

The muscat grape, which belongs to the Vitis Vinifera species and has been present for thousands of years, comes in more than 200 distinct varieties. Each variety of Moscato will have slightly different flavor profiles and vary in color, ranging from light gold to pale yellow or even pinkish-orange hues depending on the type of grapes used to make it and how it was processed.

How To Make Moscato?

How To Make Moscato

Moscato has so many varieties there is no single method for making it. Generally, this type of wine can be made using various methods, including traditional winemaking (vinification), carbonic maceration, and even the slightly sweeter asti method. 

The grapes are harvested and gently crushed to release their juices. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels to create the finished product. Depending on the winemaker’s preference, they may age it in these tanks or barrels for a few months or up to a year.

What Flavors does Moscato Have?

Moscato is known for its signature sweet and fruity flavor, making it an ideal choice for those looking for something easy to drink and enjoyable to the palate. The Muscat grapes used in the wine provide a wonderful balance of flavors that range from peach, apricot, and honey to lemon-lime and melon.

It is often served slightly chilled or at room temperature and can have a slight sparkle depending on the type of Moscato produced. Some types are blended with other white wines, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, to create a more complex flavor profile.

What are Moscato Wine Styles?

Muscat grapes are being grown worldwide. For instance, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Australia, and Israel. Each region has its own distinct style of Moscato wine, some of the most well-known being:

Red Moscato

Red Moscato is a sweet, sparkling red wine made from Black Muscat grapes. This sweet, low-alcohol wine has aromas of raspberry, rose petals, and violets, with subtle roasted notes of Assam black tea.

Pink Moscato

Pink Moscato is a delightful wine crafted with mostly Muscat grapes and a hint of Merlot, giving it a ruby-pink hue. This unique blend offers classic Moscato flavors combined with delicious notes of strawberry for an unparalleled drinking experience.

White Moscato

White Moscato is a light, slightly sweet wine made from Muscat Blanc grapes. This low-alcohol wine has delightful aromas of apricot, peach, nectarine, and honeysuckle with flavors of pear and honey. White Moscato can be enjoyed on its own or as an accompaniment to light desserts.

Sparkling and Semi-Sparkling Moscato

The renowned Italian wines of Moscato d’Asti (semi-sparkling) and Asti Spumante (sparkling) are classic examples of this style. Both boast Italy’s highest DOCG classification, meaning they are protected by a guarantee of origin like Parmigiano-Reggiano. These wines are highly aromatic and sweet but with a perfect balance of zesty acidity, bubbles, and a crisp mineral finish. This is the ideal choice for pool parties or other celebrations.

Still Moscato

Still versions of Moscato are made with Muscat Blanc grapes and other Muscat varieties, such as Muscat of Alexandria. For a unique tasting experience, try wines such as Moscatel from Spain or Muskateller from Austria. These drinks offer a dry taste, but their intense fruity aromas can trick your brain into perceiving a sweet flavor. Moscato wines are an excellent choice for those wanting to watch their carb intake.

Moscato Dessert Wines

The variety of dessert wines is sweeter than Moscato d’Asti. From France’s Muscat de Rivesaltes and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise to southern Spain’s special Moscatel Sherry with rich caramel flavors or Portugal’s Moscatel de Setúbal, made with the rare Moscatel Roxo grapes. In Greece, there’s Muscat of Samos in a variety of sweet styles, and Sicily’s Muscat grapes are often partially dried to concentrate their sweetness. Australia’s Rutherglen Muscat is said to be one of the sweetest wines in the world, so sweet it could even be poured over ice cream.

How to Pair Moscato With Food?

Moscato wines are best enjoyed chilled and can be savored in a variety of food pairings. For example, try pairing Red Moscato with grilled steak or pork, White Moscato with light dishes such as fish or chicken, or Sparkling Moscato with Indian or Thai cuisine. Still versions of the wine are excellent accompaniments to desserts such as cheesecake or fruit tarts, and dessert versions are great with puddings or crème brûlée.


Moscato wines are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of styles. From sweet sparkling Moscatos to dry still versions, this refreshing wine will surely please most palates. Paired with food or enjoyed on its own, Moscato is the ideal refreshment for any occasion. Whether you prefer Red, Pink, White, Sparkling, or Dessert Moscato, there is something for everyone.

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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