Moscato is a style of wine made from muscat grapes. It’s famous for sweet flavours of peaches and orange blossom and because it’s lower in alcohol than other sparkling wines.
The muscat grape has been around for thousands of years, and encompasses a range of over 200 different types of the varietal belonging to the Vitis Vinifera species. It’s a species well known for table grapes (think fortified wine) along with raisins. There are several different muscat varieties. At Holm Oak we make our moscato wines from Muscat a Petit Grains Rouge (also known as red Frontignac or brown muscat).
Although it originates in Italy, muscat grows in wine regions all over the world. It’s versatile and can be grown in most climates, thriving in France, Spain, Italy and of course has had a real resurgence as a style over the last few years within Australia.
Watch the video from our winemaker Bec below.
Is Moscato Wine Sweet or Dry?
Moscato is considered a sweeter wine, but how it’s made is dictated by the winemaker and the style that they’re aiming to produce. It generally has lower acidity, with a slight sweetness thanks to higher levels of residual sugar.
The popular Moscato di Asti style of wine that’s made in parts of Italy tends to be sweet and lightly sparkled, often known locally as frizzante. This popular style comes from a region in Italy called Asti, in the Piedmont area in North Western Italy. These wines have a beautiful perfume, with aromas of mandarin, ripe pear, orange blossom and honeysuckle on the palate.
In other moscatos you’ll also taste floral characters, rose petal and rose water flavours on the nose along with Turkish delight and wild strawberries. Yum!
Many moscatos are popular as they are made with lower alcohol (around 5-6%), whereas white wine is much higher with 12% alcohol. It’s commonly made in a lighter-bodied style with a fine bubble and bead. You’ll also find moscato as a core ingredient in many cocktails.
What about Pink Moscato?
Pink moscato has been all the rage in the United States for some time, championed by brands such as Barefoot, Sutter Home and Berringer. It has been made cool by many pop stars and social media. Instagram has exploded with over 103,000 mentions using the #pinkmoscato hashtag.
Pink moscato starts out as a white wine made from the Muscat Blanc grape, with a dash of red wine (often a merlot) to add some colour. At Holm Oak we like to use the natural colour of the red Frontignac (pictured below), so our moscato does not require any wine to be added to colour it.
Image: Muscat a Petit Grains Rouge Grapes at Holm Oak
Food to enjoy with Moscato Wine
There’s plenty of great food combinations to enjoy with moscato wine. Serve alongside fresh oysters and prawns for a luscious starter or end your meal on a sweet note and try it with desserts and fruit platters. Flavours of moscato really come alive when paired with Asian foods, especially Thai and Vietnamese. The lower alcohol and sweetness brings great balance, allowing the food flavours to shine through.
At home we often enjoy Tasmanian scallops with a pinot gris butter sauce.
Discover Holm Oak’s Moscato
At Holm Oak, our moscato is one of the most popular wines! Always a crowd pleaser, especially in our Tamar Valley cellar door. Our range includes two moscatos, sourced from different grapes to create two distinct drops.
Our Pig & d’Pooch moscato is named after our beloved pets, Pinot d’Pig and our labrador Bella No.1 who sadly passed on in 2017. Fortunately we have a successor for Bella No. 1 and you’ll find our new resident chocolate lab, Bella 2, at cellar door. The moscato grapes come from Tim Duffy’s family property in Victoria. The fruit is picked and pressed in Nyah, Victoria with the juice held for six hours prior to pressing to extract colour and flavour. The juice then makes its way to Tasmania to be bottled and finished with a light carbonation. End your dinner party with chilled moscato and juicy, sweet strawberries and raspberries (or make a delicious dessert with Moscato Jelly). It’s a wine best shared with friends and a cheese platter. Try it for yourself today