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moscato

muscat wine

Moscato (aka Muscat Blanc, Moscato Canelli or Moscato Bianco) is a white grape best known these days for Piedmont's Moscato d'Asti, a fruity sweet or semi-sweet low-alcohol wine (generally 5-8%), usually drunk as an aperitivo.

In sunny Sicily, Moscato is often made from raisins as a passito dessert wine; Moscato Passito di Pantelleria is made from zibibbo grapes.

Two Moscatos are in the Ark of Taste:

The moscato di Saracena, the famous wine of Saracena, Calabria, produced since the 1500s and praised by Norman Douglas in Old Calabria: the local saracene grapes are dried, then mixed into the boiled must of grenache, malvasia, and odoacra grapes. The wine is aromatic and slightly resinous, and a bit bitter, making it a perfect foil for sweet biscuits.

The second is the aromatic moscato passito della Valle Bagnario di Strevi, made in that steep valley in Piedmont from grapes left to dry until November, before being pressed.

Not to be confused with noce moscata, nutmeg.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Gail