My Love for Moscato

“Call it Muscat in French or Moscato in Italian, regardless of its pronunciation, I absolutely loved my gift. I love this wine,…..”- Samantha Jonas-Rongo

 My Love for Moscato                                                                              

Samantha Jonas-Rongo

Last Night my fiancé and I had attended his job’s company Christmas party and I was given a bottle of Moscato as a gift from his co-workers, our friends. Call it Muscat in French or Moscato in Italian, regardless of its pronunciation, I absolutely loved my gift. I love this wine, not only because I am a wine fan and am not a heavy drinker; but because Moscato offers a sweet taste that goes down smoothly and pairs well. After a long hard day of being fabulous, I like to relax with a glass of wine, but I don’t want it to bite me back. It is also yummy with salads, seafood, poultry, fruit and cheese plate, spicy dishes.  As I now sit, sip on my glass of delicious white Moscato and update my site, I figured why not share my knowledge and opinion of this wonderful drink so others can be inspired to either start or continue to enjoy it as well. I will also share my Pink Moscato and Red Raspberry Sangria recipe with you later in my recipe section of my website.

Moscato or Muscat is a white wine grape. The wines, slightly sweet and low in alcohol, are often served with dessert.

First things first:

There are three types of Moscato and they include:

  • White Moscato (My Favorite)- Crisp, fruity and bursting with flavors of peach, honey, and citrus.
  • Pink Moscato- Light-bodied and bursting with citrus and peach, with a hint of red berries
  • Red Moscato- Sweet red wine bursting with red berries and hints of citrus.

Moscato also is available in a variety of Bubbly, other flavors and is produced by many different brands.

In the U.S., wine drinking has held its own during these hard economic times. Moscato, the Italian dessert wine, has gone from relative obscurity to the toast of the town.

Until about a decade ago, the ancient Italian wine could have been described as obscure — what one wine expert called “a little backwater grape.” Now the words used about the rise of moscato are “breathtaking,” “phenomenal”. Industry watchers say they’ve never seen anything like it. It is the fastest growing varietal wine in the country.

At a time when complaints are that wines from all over the world are growing more alike, the original Moscato with origins in Piedmont, Italy, Moscato d’Asti is something of an anomaly. It is low in alcohol, sweet and slightly fizzy, all hardly the qualities most wine drinkers or critics seem to be looking for these days. A few years ago, Moscato d’Asti seemed to be headed for questioning in the wine industry. Then Moscato d’Asti was discovered by hip-hop artists.

Hip-hop singer/rapper and producer, Drake, in his song “Do It Now,” gives it a shout-out. It’s also the wine Kanye West orders, and it’s the wine Real Housewife of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes sells under the label “Miss Moscato”.

Moscato, the slightly sweet, fizzy, low alcohol and inexpensive white wine, has become the hip-hop community’s new favorite drink. Hence, it has cropped up in so many music artists vocabulary. For example, thereafter, the rapper Drake calls for a “glass of Moscato for the girl who’s a student and her friend who’s a model”; in a song he featured in with R&B singer, Trey Songz.

Soon, Moscato was being served at parties in New York and Los Angeles.

Sales of Moscato surged. Imitators sprang up around the globe, trying mostly unsuccessfully to match the signature taste of the Piemontese original but became delicious enough for many creditors, such as myself to enjoy. Jugs of Barefoot moscato are sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club, most local wine outlets, and is even on the menu at Olive Garden and other fine dining restaurants.

Moscato is inexpensive, generally $8 to $20 a bottle. It’s low in alcohol and has a lightly sweet, fresh flavor with hints of peaches, apricots, pears, orange blossoms and rose petals. Sweet wines are selling big, especially to the under 40 crowd, who grew up enjoying and appreciating sugary drinks.

It is being called a gateway beverage for new wine drinkers and an all-time favorite by others. Then there’s the whole hip-hop, edgy thing: Drink moscato and you’ll be cool like rapper Waka Flocka or Drake. Even many woman are now drinking wine rather than traditional hard or malt liquors because it’s classy and, sophisticated presence and it’s now recognition in the hip-hop and R&B world. All it took was a few shout-outs in a song to spread its presence as the same happened with Cristal champagne, Hennessy cognac and Patron tequila.

For years the drinks most associated with hip-hop were distinctly aspirational. Busta Rhymes rapped about Courvoisier, Jay-Z about Louis Roederer Cristal and later, Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades champagne, and Nas rhymed about vodka Grey Goose.

These were expensive symbols of the high life.

Now that Moscato, the fairly inexpensive but compelling wine is popular, it is a symbol that maybe times are starting to change and that you do not have to spend an extreme amount of cash to have something of greater value. However, Moscato is not just for nightly fun or night caps. These are yet more reasons why I enjoy this wine.

  • BRUNCH – If you’re looking for a brunch wine, Moscato pairs well with breakfast pastries, eggs, pancakes and other brunch foods such chicken or even fish.
  • COCKTAIL MUNCHIES – Crackers, cheese (hard or soft), and olives provide a salty counterpoint to the slightly sweet wine. Simple bruschetta is also a perfect pairing along with these snacks.
  • FRESH VEGTABLES – The crispness of raw vegetables pairs well with Moscato.
  • CHICKEN & FISH  – Moscato is delicious with lighter chicken and fish dishes.
  • CREAM SAUCES – Mild cream sauces pair well with Moscato.
  •  DESSERT – While moscato is far less sweet than other dessert wines, it has enough residual sugar to work with many desserts such as cheesecake or strawberry shortcake.
  • FRUIT – A snack or dessert of fresh fruit, or a fruit pie is an occasion for Moscato. Peaches are a perfect match with this peachy wine.
  • HAM – Here’s another fine sweet-and-salty pairing, whether it’s a baked dinner ham, a ham sandwich or ham-based brunch..
  • PICNICS & POOLSIDE – Moscato is an ideal wine to sip poolside or relaxing at a picnic while cooling off from the heat.
  • SALADS – Want a glass of wine with your lunch or dinner salad? Grab the Moscato.
  • SHELLFISH – Sweeter wines like Moscato are a favorite pairing with crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops and sushi.
  • SPICY FOODS – The slight sweetness of Moscato complements the heat and spice to pair with Asian, Indian and other hot cuisines, along with spicy favorites such as Spaghetti, pizza and garlic based dishes.

Samantha Jonas-Rongo

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