Get ready for summer with easy-drinking Moscato

A sweet, fruity, gently effervescent wine that’s so good even Kanye, Nelly and L’il Kim are singing its praises.

Quick Guide


What is it?

Usually a sweet, slightly effervescent white wine (or red or blush) which is perfect as an aperitif or to accompany desserts.

Where's it from?

First produced in Italy (Moscato d’Asti), moscato is now produced worldwide. Australia has some very well regarded examples including from Brown Brothers and Jacob’s Creek.

What does it taste like?

Moscato is said to have a flavour that’s unique and different from any other wine. Musk, fruit and floral notes abound, such as peach, passionfruit, honeysuckle and even fruitcake.


Moscato is not designed to be cellared but to be consumed whilst young, fresh and vibrant. Most importantly, make sure it is suitable chilled.

Moscato History
In the global history of grapes the muscat (from which Moscato is made) is the granddaddy of them all. With references made to its cultivation as far back as 3,000 BC, it’s claimed to be the oldest grape variety in the world, and with over 200 species muscats are grown pretty much everywhere. They’re thought to have originated in the Middle East, although the variety is referenced in Egypt and ancient Greece as well.
With moscato’s modern roots firmly entrenched in the northwest Italian Piedmont region from where the unique and well-admired Moscato d’Asti is produced, muscat grape varieties have achieved world domination in the five thousand years or so they’ve been around. Most of Europe grows one or several varieties, as does the UK, US, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – you get the idea.
Unlike champagne, moscato has never been associated with the high life. It’s a low(er) alcohol wine with simple musky flavours, sparkly effervescence and no intention of being cellared. As such it’s something of a wine snob’s worst nightmare but that hasn’t stopped the rest of us from embracing its easy-drinking style. Even hip-hop artists of international renown are rapping its praises, with Drake advocating “…lobster and shrimp and a glass of moscato” whilst L’il Kim was “…still over in Brazil sippin’ moscato”. She didn’t mention what she ate with it, but we’ll come to that later.
Nowadays moscato is finding a new fan base, particularly those who’ve not ventured far into wine drinking territory. It’s a great gateway wine for the uninitiated so come on in and find out more.


Australian Moscato Regions

Muscat grapes have been growing in Australia for as long as we’ve been cultivating vines, which doesn’t compare to Italy’s history, granted, but time enough for us to develop a variety of uses for them including single varietal Moscatos, fortified Liqueur Muscats and as a blend with other popular varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Our most successful muscat-growing region is South East Australia, particularly the Murray Valley in Victoria where the Rutherglen and Glenrowan districts are becoming renowned worldwide for their Liqueur Muscat production.


Popular Australian Moscato Brands

With hundreds of years’ worth of cultivation history it’s not surprising that Australia is well respected for its moscato offerings.
Brown Brothers offer two great examples of a moscato varietal and a moscato blend; Brown Brothers Moscato and Brown Brothers Moscato & Sauvignon Blanc. The former works well as either a dessert wine or as an accompaniment to seafood, with fruity, fresh citrus flavours embedded in the bubbles, whilst the latter is slightly more acidic with passionfruit overtones and is a good match for peppery or gently spicy seafood.
Another great Aussie option is from Jacob’s Creek. This plays more to the floral than fruity grape notes, and has a light, floaty character. It’s slightly less sweet than average.
Gossips Sweet Lips pink moscato (a beautiful blush hue), is a great value wine with fruity peach and pear flavours with a light fizz finish, whilst Banrock Station’s Moscato offers sweeter grapefruit, lemon and pineapple flavours.
Finally, the Pastello moscato (exclusive to Bottlemart) is redolent with honeysuckle and tropical fruit aromas.


Moscato Flavour

There are three distinct styles of Moscato.
The first and most popular is light bodied with a lower alcohol content than an aged or fermented wine. It’s usually a light, crisp, sweet and slightly fizzy (or frizzante) white wine, although it can also be red or blush. Unlike its fizzier cousin, sparkling wine or spumante, the pressure in a moscato bottle is low enough not to require a wire cork basket. Moscato d’Asti is the most famous version of moscato which is only produced in the Asti region of Italy from grapes grown there. This gently sparkling wine has a sweet, floral, almost musky aroma unique to moscatos. Peach and rose are additional flavours many discover on the palate.
Whilst less common, still moscatos are available in either red or white varieties, and unlike their frizzante siblings, can be quite dry with higher alcohol content.
Finally, non-sparkling fortified muscat wines – often aged in barrels like a spirit – are dark, viscous and sticky on the tongue, with flavours of raisin, toffee and fruit cake. With their tawny hue and oak ageing, they’re a wonderful alternative to Port with your after-dinner coffee.


Moscato Food Matching

Well now, this all depends on when you’re serving your moscato. For Sunday brunch, for example, serve with fresh berries - or perhaps seafood crepes - yet it works equally well with savouries such as a cheese board or antipasto plate. It’s a perfect picnic partner.

Desserts provide a perfect pairing for moscato, with particular favourites including any fruit-based delight such as grilled nectarines with mascarpone, or apple crumble. Tart puddings, such as lemon meringue pie or lemon poppy seed cake also work well with the wine’s musky flavour.
Of course, as an aperitif or to get your party started, it doesn’t need to go with anything other than some good music. Crank up the hip-hop.
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