Moscato red wine is a sweet wine known for its low alcohol content. That makes it an excellent choice to enjoy on a weeknight when a heavier wine might not be a good fit. This dessert wine is trendy in the United States, but other countries like Italy also produce it. Some people even consider it to be a rival or answer to Champagne!
- Flavor Profile. The typical fruity flavors include raspberries and red cherries. Some styles of wine will have ripe raspberry and citrus notes as well. The flavors of raspberry mean this wine goes well with raspberry dishes and desserts.
- Aroma. The dessert wine is considered highly aromatic, which means most people can easily enjoy the scents of the wine. Usually, Moscato red wine has an aroma of orange blossoms, peach, and lemon. IF you like floral aromas in wine, take a moment to pause and enjoy the orange blossom in this wine.
- Alcohol Content. Moscato wines usually have alcohol content below 10%. That low alcohol level makes this dessert wine quite different from other sweet wines like port.
- Sweetness Levels. Expect a relatively high level of sugar (e.g., 35 grams per liter). This type of sweet flavor means it is very different compared to drinking dry wines.
What Cheese Combination Goes With Moscato Red Wine?
Putting together a cheese plate with multiple cheese varieties is an excellent idea. Specifically, choose firm and medium cheese varieties. To develop your cheese plate, look for the following cheese combinations:
- White Cheeses. These cheeses can work well, but it is probably best to avoid delicate white cheese like feta.
- Cheddar. Cheddar is made in a range of styles, so experiment with a few varieties. I like spicy cheddar myself.
- Soft Cheese. Soft cheese is a good choice if you want to spread your cheese on a cracker or small piece of bread.
Food Pairings For Moscato Red Wine
Whether you prefer the Italian wines of Muscat red wine or something else, multiple food pairings work.
- Fresh Fruits. Offering a light dessert of fruit fruits like raspberry and other berries works well. You could also make a fresh salad focused on fruits. With each bite, take a moment to wake up your palette with the refreshing finish of the wine.
- Lighter Dishes. This light or delicate wine works well with chicken dishes like orange chicken salad or other kinds of chicken salad. In a way, Moscato red wine shares some common ground with Pinot Grigio.
- Spicy Foods. Whether you want to enjoy spicy appetizers or main dishes, Moscato red wine pairs well with basil, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger spices. For example, you might like this light-bodied wine with Vietnamese cuisines. The spicy notes of the wine mean it can keep up with the heat found in many spicy dishes.
- Dessert Pairing. Many people like to start their meal with Moscato red wine, but that is not the only choice. This wine is also an excellent pick to combine with dessert wines like chocolate or cherry Cobbler pie. For more insight on dessert pairing with wine, read the post Wine Chocolate Pairing.
Moscato Red Wine: What Are The Prices?
As a wine lover, prepare to rejoice! There is a wide range of Moscato red wines available on the market today. Let’s start with one of the best-known brands: Barefoot wine. Barefoot wine is a wine you’ve probably enjoyed at poolside parties or backyard barbecues. As Vinepair points out, Barefoot Wines have been in production since the 1960s. The company also has a long history of supporting nonprofits which makes it remarkable. In 2021, Barefoot is considered the second most valuable wine brand in the United States (Chandon is the most valuable wine brand).
1) Barefoot Red Moscato Red Wine Price
The 9% alcohol by volume wine is available for $6.99 on Drizly. Amazingly, Total Wine offers this bottle of wine for less than $6. In terms of alcohol volume, a wine glass of Barefoot has 9% alcohol. Of course, alcohol taxes in your area might result in a higher price. You might also see this wine marketed as Barefoot Red Moscato Sweet Red Wine.
Stay away from this wine if you prefer drier styles of wine.
Note: when you buy wine bottles for less than $10, keep your expectations modest. You can pour this wine into a champagne flute, but that doesn’t make it Champagne.
2) Risata Red Moscato
Want to try the Italian approach to Moscato? Picking up a bottle of Risata Red Moscato, made in the Moscato d’Asti area of Italy, is a good choice. This sweet red wine sells for $15.99 on Total Wine.
3) Award-Winning Wines
Turning to the Decanter World Wine Awards, I’ve found a few examples of award-winning Moscato you might enjoy from northern Italy, specifically the northwestern Italy region of Piedmont.
Scagliola Giacomo & Figlio, Sifasol, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy, 2020. Winner of the Silver award, this sweet wine has just 5.5% alcohol content.
Gozzelino, Bruna, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy, 2020. Winner of the Bronze award, this Italian wine also has a 5.5% alcohol content, and it is an organic wine.
If you want a wine adventure, look for this dessert wine from a less well-known region like the Crimean wine region of Russia.
What Are The Types of Muscat Grapes?
While this article is focused on Moscato red wine, there are multiple types of Muscat grapes. The most popular varieties include:
- Muscat a Petit Grains Rouge. Native to Italy, this grape variety is now made worldwide, including Holm Oak Tasmania. Some people refer to this variety by the short name “Muscat rouge.”
- Muscat of Alexandria. This white wine grape probably originated in North Africa and may have been used by the ancient Egyptians. More recently, Muscat of Alexandria wine is made in California, South Africa, and Australia.
- Black Muscat. Also known as Muscat Hamburg, this red grape variety has an unlikely origin – England! Unlike many traditional wine grapes, many people also eat Black Muscat grapes.
- Moscato Giallo. This white wine grape is mainly grown in northern Italy. To produce sweet dessert wines. To find Moscato Giallo in your local wine shop, head for the Italian wines section.
- Moscato Bianco. Also known as Muscat Blanc, this is one of the most popular Muscat grapes planted globally. It is used in drier styles and sweet dessert wine. It is not a dry wine grape because it can be made in multiple ways.
Looking For Bolder Flavors?
You can enjoy wine more deeply when you discover the wide variety of options. Some wines have a dominant flavor of butter and vanilla from aging. To discover more wines and enhance their flavor further, I recommend reading “Big Macs & Burgundy.”