Within the wine world there are groups of wines whose names are similar but couldn’t be more different. One such grouping are wines that start with “musc” or “mosc”. What’s the difference between Moscato, Moscatel, Muscat, Muscadet, Muscadelle and Muscadine? Let’s take a look.
Moscato is a popular style of wine that is often sweet and a bit frizzante. While it is commonly associated with Northern Italy, specifically the region of Asti, Moscato is produced in a number of countries.
The grape used to make Moscato is called Muscat. Muscat comes in a number of varieties – Muscat of Alexandria (aka Moscatel or Orange Muscat) is often used to make Sherry and dessert wines, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains is the one used for Moscato. Muscat is an intensely aromatic grape and Moscatos often exhibit distinct aromas of apricot, peach and nectarine. Their sweetness level makes Moscato equally perfect for pairing with spicy foods, fruity desserts or just drinking on its own.
One the other end of the spectrum from Moscato is Muscadet (moose-kah-DAY). Muscadet is a dry, light bodied white wine from the western portion of the Loire Valley of France. Muscadet does not refer to the grape or the region, instead it refers to the “musk tasting” of the wine (although most people argue it does not have a musk taste at all). The grape is called Melon de Bourgogne. Muscadets tend to exhibit flavors of green apple, pear, lemon and lime. Due to the proximity to the ocean, Muscadets can also exhibit a bit of a briny character. These wines pair well with seafood and shellfish.
Muscadelle is a white wine grape that had been popular to blend with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for Sauternes and white Bordeauxs, but has been decreasing in popularity. It still remains popular for making dessert wines (or stickies) in Australia and New Zealand.
Muscadine is a grape native to North America. A red grape with a very distinct flavor, Muscadine is said to have health benefits due to its high levels of antioxidants and resveratrol.
If you are curious to explore further, we will be sampling the Baci Dolci Blonde Moscato and the Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie this weekend from noon to 4pm.