This grape is incredibly adaptable, full flavoured and has gorgeous aromas. However, sadly Muscat is often disregarded by white wine drinkers today due to current trends towards grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
Muscat is a quite distinctive grape due to how aromatic it is. When it is light and young it tastes very much of grapes, is crisp and clean, but has an added fragrance of rose petals and orange blossom. These are often hard to match with food but they go well with delicately spiced Indian or Thai food. Most Muscats are sweet and this fruity sweetness works well with the perfume to make a great all-rounder dessert wine that matches well with most choices of dessert. There are also Muscats that have been sitting in oak for a long time and which are dark in colour and have pungent flavours such as figs, coffee and nuts.
There are two main Muscat grapes used for winemaking. Muscat à Petits Grains is the star of the bunch and produces refined, elegant wines and aromatic wines. Muscat of Alexandra produces wines that are sweet and intense, although they are not as balanced and complex as Muscat à Petits Grains.
Both types of Muscat are used in southern France’s vins doux naturels .In Alsace, another type of Muscat called Muscat Ottonel is the preferred variety, although the wines produced are not at the same standard the main grape types. In Italy, Moscato is grown all over the peninsula. In Piedmont it is grown for light, sweet and sparkling wines. Muscat is grown in many other countries across the world, such as Spain, Austria and Australia.
Now you’ve read about it, why not check out all of our Muscat wines!
- Muscat à Petits Grains may be the oldest grape variety known as it has been identified with vines from the Greeks and the Romans.
- The red Italian grape Aleatico may be a dark-berried variant of Muscat à Petits Grains. This grape is grown in Chile, Corsica, as well as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
- The standard colour for Muscat berries is ‘golden’ (white), although many have red, pink and even brown berries.