For years dry wines have been viewed as the “it” wines. But it seems Americans are sweetening their palates. Muscat is edging in as one of the most sought-after wines in the world. According to A.C. Nielsen data this sweet trend resulted in a 156.3 percent increase in sweet white wine volume in 2010.
That’s a lot of consumers going to the sweet side.
The muscat grape, unlike many other wine grapes, is also enjoyed as a table grape. It has a distinctive flavor. If you’ve enjoyed it as a table grape, you’ll most likely instantly recognize the flavor as a wine.
The grape color ranges from white to brown to almost black and can be made into numerous styles ranging from sparkling white to the rich, dark fortified wines of Australia.
The best known are muscat blanc a petits grains (muscat blanc for short) and muscat of Alexandria. The muscat blanc grape is the oldest variety and creates the most concentrated grape flavors. It produces wines both dry and sweet. Muscat of Alexandria is used for intense dessert-style sweet wines. Muscat’s light white styles are drawing the attention of wine drinkers not only for the delectable taste of honey, peach and almond but consumer-friendly price tags.
- NV Yellowtail Moscato, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2011 Zonin Moscato, Italy (about $10 retail)
- 2011 Cavit Moscato, Italy (about $11 retail)
- 2011 Mezzacorona Moscato, Italy (about $11 retail)
- 2011 Bella Sera Moscato, Italy (about $9 retail)
- 2009 Hugel Muscat, France (about $26 retail)
- 2011 Folonari Moscato, Italy (about $14 retail)
- 2011 Voga Moscato, Italy (about $15 retail)