Best Moscato Wines & Moscato Cocktail Recipes to Try in 2020

Table of Contents



Our Pick

Ready to buy your Moscato but still need some push? Here’s our top picks from this list.

Most Used in Cocktails

The Stella Rossa Platinum is the most cocktail-friendly in this list. White and perfectly carbonated, this is neutral enough in flavor and color not to intervene with the other ingredients of the cocktail.

Most Versatile

The most versatile in this list is the Torres Viña Esmeralda. Not too sweet to drink on its own, this vintage wine is good enough for citrusy cocktails.  It also pairs well with a variety of dishes.

Best in Social Responsibility

The Stein Family Wines, makers of the esteemed Stein Family Magic Hour White Moscato 2011, had lived true to its name. It has committed to provide scholarships for the children of the vineyard workers, even when profits are low. Such a dedication to change lives one at a time deserves distinction. Not only that, the wine itself is very good and truly earned the Magic Hour name.

Quick Facts About Muscat Grapes

Tradition has many versions as to the name of Muscat grapes. Muscat grapes come from Greece and are known for their sweet aroma. The high sugar content of the grapes attracts fruit flies, known as mosca in the Italian dialect. The easiest indicator that a certain variety is a Muscat grape is the presence of mosca, although the name for the variety was given still later. There are also claims that the name comes from either the capital city of Oman, Muscat, in the Middle East where the most ancient vineyards are found  or the Greek municipality of Moschato, located near Athens.

There are five types of Muscat grapes

Muscat Blanc

The Muscat Blanc is characterized by its greenish-yellow color and sweet flavor and aroma. The wines made from this are usually sweet and has a low alcohol content of 11-12% and is best served with desserts, given its sweetness that should go well with desserts. The aroma is fruity and citrusy.

Golden Muscat

Golden yellow and with larger berries, these grapes are usually used for making still dry wines with a strong aroma of the grape.

Muscat Rose

Pink-purple skinned berries with hints of rose and flowers for the aroma, these are a very rare variety of Muscat grapes and are used for sweet dessert wines, just like the Muscat Blanc.

Muscat of Alexandria

Thick green skin and largest of the grapes in the Muscat family, the Muscat of Alexandria is unique in aroma, especially if you are into candied apricots, figs, and orange marmalade. It is used in the production of full-bodied Moscato wines.

Black Muscat

Black purplish, this very rare variety is also a good table grape and is used in the production of sweet wine.

Moscato Wine Varieties

Sparkling and Semi-Sparkling Moscato

Usually, if the wine is labeled Moscato, it is either a sparkling or semi-sparkling wine. It has high levels of carbonation that makes it fizzy compared to its other Moscato counterparts. These are best served during pool parties and are highly aromatic and sweet.

Still Moscato

Made from Muscat Blanc and Muscat of Alexandria, these wines are usually dry to taste although you might think it sweet because the aromatics play with your senses. Best for weight-watchers since it contains the least calories in the form of sugar.

Pink Moscato

Reviews of the pink Moscato claim that it is a glamorized version of the Merlot. The Merlot is made from grapes from America.

Red Moscato

Made with the very rare Black Muscat, the red Moscato is characterized by a strong aroma of raspberry, roses, and violet and strong notes of black Assam tea.

Moscato Dessert Wines

These are very sweet wines made from a variety of Muscat grapes and are also made using different techniques, including drying the grapes to preserve its sweetness.

15 Best Moscato Wines

Stella Rosa Platinum, Italy 

Made from a blend of select grape varieties, this wine is naturally carbonated and has the flavors of green apple, vanilla, and elderflower. The grapes used for the making of this wine comes from the region of Asti in Piedmont, Italy. Piedmont grapes are usually known for their characteristic sweetness, firm tannins and aroma of roses. The Stella Rosa Platinum is made from white grape varieties including Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, and Muscat.

Best used for wine-based cocktails.

Quinta Nova Pomares Moscatel 2014, Portugal

Strong citrus, tropical fruits, and fresh herbs dominate the aroma of the Quinta Nova Pomares Moscatel.  Made in Quinta, Portugal, in the valley of Duoro, the grapes produced here make wine that is full-bodied and dry.

Pairs well with fish and seafood dishes, such as the grilled herring with mustard and basil dressing and mussels with wine and chorizo.

Torres Viña Esmeralda 2014, Spain

Excellent aromatics of lime blossom and acacia honey with notes of Muscat grape, citrus and passionfruit and the acidity of grapefruit. This is an excellent wine for Thanksgiving, no need to mix up into a cocktail as this is good on its own. One of the best wines in the world, as one renowned sommelier claims, its white grapes come from the Penedes region in Catalunya. This is also where the world-famous Cava hails from. At 11% ABV, you can enjoy this wine without having to endure the high alcohol content.

Pairs well with fish and seafood dishes or appetizers such as fresh fried herring and smoked salmon spread served with pita bread or tortilla chips

Brooks Terue Dry Muscat 2010, Oregon

Incredibly beautiful nose and excellent floral aromatics of gardenia, white lilacs and jasmine and exotic aromatics of lychee and mango, this is a perfect dessert wine. A product of organic and biodynamic farming, you can enjoy your wines knowing it was produced with the most ethical agricultural standards.

Pairs well with appetizers and fish dishes. Find your favorite appetizers here.

Zind-Humbrecht Muscat 2013, France

Best served as an aperitif or with shellfish, this intense Moscato is perfect for summer drinks because of its fruity and floral aromas. With a wine-making experience dating back as far as 1959, it gained a good score because of just the right amount of acidity and fruity flavors.

Perfect with light fish dishes and vegetable dishes like the garlic and herb-marinated mushrooms or easy fish ceviche.

Ruffino Moscato d'Asti 2014, Italy

Peach and orange blossoms and a bit of carbonation greets your senses as you drink this wine, making it a true delight of wine lovers. Produced in Asti in Piedmont, also the source of world-renown Barbera. With ABV of 5-6% and gentle sparkling, this wine also has flavors of grapes, apricot, lychee, and rose petals.

Perfect drank as an aperitif drank with salami, cheese plates, melon, and delicate desserts. It also pairs well with Asian dishes such as the Korean-style fried chicken and chicken teriyaki.

Jaboulet Beaumes de Venise Muscat 2012, France

Perfect for cocktail mixing due to its clear color, this wine boasts of intense peach, grape, mango, lychee and apricot aroma. With just the right amount of sweetness and acidity, robustness and elegance, this wine has 15% ABV for those who want stronger wines. The white grapes, Grenache Blanc, Clairette,  and Bourbelenc, used in Jaboulet wines come from the Northern Rhone in France. These grapes are known for their low acidity and high alcohol content and notes of citrus and herbs.

Pairs well with fish and chicken dishes and desserts. Check out the creamy caramel flan and deep-fried cheesecake filled strawberries.

Don Rodolfo Moscato 2015, Argentina

Fermented using the traditional method, this Moscato has peach and honeysuckle aroma and just the right sweetness. It is made from Muscat grapes in what was known as the highest altitude vineyards of Argentina. The wide temperature variations during the day and the night in this country forces the vines to produce grapes that are more concentrated to make up for their lower yield. This delicious Moscato is evident that something wonderful can come out from a lot of struggling and adapting, such as the Muscat grapes of Argentina.

Pairs well with spicy Asian dishes such as the Spicy Ginger Szechuan Beef. For more spicy Asian dishes, check out here.

Caposaldo Sparkling Peach Moscato, Italy

This sparkling wine has delicious aroma and flavors of peaches, honeysuckle and citrus fruits. A little history on this wine tells of a famous horse named Caposaldo who competed in 4,000 races in 24 years during the reign of Emperor Nero. The horse logo on the label of all Caposaldo wines pays tribute to the outstanding standards and quality evoked by this wine. Produced from grapes coming from Venete, Italy. Caposaldo is a non-vintage wine, sold on the year it is fermented. Non-vintage wines are made by mixing the newly fermented wine with the reserve wine. It has to be at least 50% new wine to be considered non-vintage.

Perfect with fresh sorbets, pastries, and fresh fruits. Check out this video for pastry puffs to go with your Moscato here.

Rosatello Moscato, Italy

Best served chilled, this Moscato from Lombardy, Italy has the refreshing aroma of citrus and mint with peach and candied orange flavor. Lombardy is known to be the source of high-quality grapes that produce good quality wines, including the Rosatello Moscato.

Best with cheese platters with lots of dried fruits like dried mango and dried pineapple.

Bodegas Botani Moscato 2014, Spain

This vintage from Spain has the aroma of Muscat grape, apple, and mandarin orange and has the flavor of citrus. This is a dry wine from the Muscat grapes in Malaga, Spain, fermented in stainless steel vats. The red slate soil in the area, mixed with white quartz, produces an interesting varietal of Muscat grapes that are used to make this wine.

Best for Asian and spicy Indian dishes.

St. Supery Moscato 2014, California

This American Moscato is one of the most popular of its winery. Pale yellow with hints of green, this wine has the aroma of mandarin and peach blossoms with flavors of peach and nectarine. St. Supery Estate Winery and Vineyards are Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery. Napa Green certification is awarded to those who adhere to biodiversity and sustainable farming.

Perfect for cheesecakes and fruit salads. 

Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat, Australia

Given the distinction as one of the top 10 wines in 1998, this Moscato is made from red and pink clones of the Muscat. It has a deep tawny red color, with rose petal and orange rind aroma and nuts, spices flavors. Yalumba has some of the oldest vineyards in the world, reaching as far as 1889 Grenache. To keep the environment healthy, Yalumba continues the tradition they started in 1990 where they plant a hectare of grapes with one hectare of native vegetation.

Best with chocolate cake and caramel mousse

Stein Family Magic Hour White Moscato 2011

Rosé wines from the Stein Family Wines, as the other rosé wines are pink and made by fermenting grape juice with the skin for a few days as opposed to the long fermentation for the production of red wines.  Donating 5% of their annual income for the scholarship of the children of the vineyard workers, the Stein Family Wines ensures that this tradition will help improve the lives of these families. This wine, made with 86% Moscato and 14% Cabernet Franc, boasts of a light wine with low alcohol content, this is perfect for evening appetizers and end-of-the-meal conclusions.

Pairs well with grilled pork tenderloin or lamb dishes, cheese platters, and vegetable dishes. 

Quady Elysium Black Muscat 2014

Another wine that California can be proud of, this black Muscat boasts of cherry, strawberry and lychee flavors made more interesting by the rose-like aroma. Made by experts of sweet wine, Quady Winery adheres to strict standards to produce rare vintages fermented from grapes of Napa Valley.

Perfect with desserts such as cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, and dark chocolate pudding.

 FAQs About Moscato

Is Moscato a dry wine?

Typically, Moscato is a very sweet wine, because of the incomplete fermentation. The high sugar content of the Moscato allows it to achieve full fermentation, making it dry. The higher the ABV of the Moscato, the drier it is. The lower the ABV, the sweeter is the wine. When the Moscato is dry, the sweetness is no longer as pronounced, rather the alcohol in it comes out stronger. The dryness of wine is characterized by the absence of sweetness in a wine.

Is carbonation natural in Moscato?

No, it depends on the fermentation process. When fermented using the Charmat method, the yeast from the fermented sugars produces carbon dioxide. Because there is no outlet (the stainless steel containers are sealed to have no vents), carbonation results. The tricky part comes in capturing that carbonation during the bottling process.  

What is the difference between a still and dry Moscato?

Still, Moscato is Moscato without the characteristic sparkle. It tastes dry, with ABV of 12%. You use stillness to describe the appearance of the wine while you use dryness to describe the taste. Sparkling Moscato can still be dry, meaning it has the characteristic fizz without the sweetness.

How do I know that my Moscato is dry or sparkling without tasting it?

The names on the label describe your Moscato. When you see the word brut in the label, it means, it is dry. The following terms describe all sparkling wines, including Moscato, from the driest to the sweetest: extra brut, brut, extra dry or extra sec, sec, demi-sec and doux.

How much sugar does my Moscato have?

It depends on its kind. A dry Moscato has 10g of residual sugar while sweet Moscato has 30g. Off-dry Moscato has residual sugar in between these numbers. A glass of your favorite Moscato d'Asti has a total caloric count from the sugar of 121, 56 calories from alcohol and 65 calories from sugar (16.28g of sugar in one glass.) Essentially why these wines are called dessert wines.

Is there a difference between champagne and sparkling wine?

Champagne is actually a sparkling wine, however, it is very specific in its requirements. It should only be fermented in Champagne, France and should only use grapes of the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier variety. The difference is mostly of the origin, not of the method.  

10 Amazing Moscato Cocktails

Strawberry and Lime Moscato Punch

This punch is so easy to assemble that you’ll never think twice whipping it when friends come over. Make sure to remove the seeds from the strawberries and the lime wheels to avoid choking accidents but apart from it, this is all a breeze and delicious too!

Ingredients

1.5 liter of Moscato

1 can frozen limeade concentrate 

1 cup strawberries diced

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1 lime sliced into wheels

2 Liter 7 Up 

Instructions

A few hours before making this punch, remove the frozen limeade from the freezer to thaw.

In a blender, combine the diced strawberries, and ¼ c limeade. Puree until smooth.

Strain the puree into a pitcher.

Pour the remainder of the limeade and Moscato into the pitcher.

Garnish with strawberry and lime slices.

Chill in the fridge.

Serve the punch in a wine glass and top off with the lemon-lime soda.

Peach Moscato Wine Slushies

With spring and summer here soon, this spiked slushie is a good way to celebrate the nice warm weather.

Ingredients:

1 cup 365 Everyday Value Frozen Peaches

2 tbsp Domino Granulated Sugar

1 bot Moscato

Sliced strawberries and peaches for garnish

Instruction to make

Add frozen peaches, sugar and a few splashes of Moscato to the food processor.

Blend until completely smooth.

Add the remaining Moscato and continue blending for about a minute.

Stir the puree well before pouring into ice trays. Freeze overnight.

Place some frozen cubes in a blender. Add more Moscato for easy blending.

Add more frozen cubes until all are blended into a slushie.

Add more Moscato if needed, thin out but not watery.

Pour into wine glasses, and garnish with fresh fruit like strawberries and peach slices.

Lavender Moscato Bees Knees

What could be a simple cocktail can be made special by adding a few special ingredients like honey syrup and lavender bitters. Relaxing as well as delicious, this makes a nice nightcap.

Ingredients:

½ oz honey syrup

1½ oz gin

½ oz lemon juice

2 dashes lavender bitters

2 oz Moscato

Instruction to make:

Make the honey syrup by warming honey in a microwave oven for 1 minute.

Add the honey syrup, lemon juice, gin, and lavender bitters into a shaker filled with ice.

Shake vigorously, about 10-15 seconds.

Strain into a wine glass and top with Moscato.

Garnish with a lavender sprig.

Triple Berry Slush Cocktail

Who can resist a cocktail as delicious as this? Just don’t get too carried away unless you want a brain freeze.

Ingredients

For the triple berry syrup

For the cocktail

Instruction to make

  1. Prepare the triple berry syrup
    1. In a saucepan, combine the mixed berries, sugar and water.
    2. Cook over medium heat until the berries are soft and easy to mash. Let cool.
    3. Mash for a bit until it combines well with the liquid.
  2. Prepare the cocktail
    1. In a blender combine the syrup, lemonade, 4.5oz red Moscato wine, sugar, and ice. Blend it.
    2. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for 2-3 hours. Stir it halfway so it does not freeze solid.
    3. In the blender combine, the frozen mixture and 2oz red Moscato wine. 
    4. Blend until smooth but not watery.
    5. Pour into a coupe glass.
    6. Garnish with a cherry, a sprig of rosemary and a sprinkle of sugar. 

Strawberry Lemonade Moscato Cocktail

Strawberry lemonade spiked with Moscato for a delicious cocktail that everyone will surely love. Served in mason jars for a more casual party setting, this cocktail is a sure winner.

Ingredients

For the strawberry lemonade

For the cocktail

  • 150ml Pink Moscato
  • 150ml Strawberry Lemonade
  • 50ml 7 Up
  • 2-3 Fresh Strawberries for garnish 
  • Lemon wheel and cherry for garnish

Instruction to make

  1. Make the strawberry lemonade
    1. In a saucepan, add the strawberries, sugar and ½ c water. Cook until the strawberry is soft and the syrup is red. Let cool.
    2. Mash the strawberries with a fork and pass through a strainer.
    3. Add the lemonade. Keep in the fridge until use.
  2. Assemble the cocktail
    1. Cut up 2-3 strawberries into small pieces. Set aside.
    2. Mix all the ingredients in a mason jar and stir.
    3. Drop the cut up strawberries into the jar.
    4. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cherry skewered together.
    5. Add ice for a more chilled drink

Moscato Sangria

The free-spirited style of sangria makes it everybody’s favorite, not to mention so easy to prepare. This drink is best during spring and harvest festivals with the abundance of fresh fruits to use.

Ingredients

1 bottle (750 ml) Moscato

1/4 cup Brandy

1 teaspoon Watkins Original Premium Vanilla

1 cup strawberries, sliced

12 cup raspberries

1 apple, sliced

1 peach, sliced

1 orange, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water

Instruction to make

In a pitcher or large bowl, combine the Moscato, brandy, and vanilla extract.

Add the strawberries, raspberries, apple, peach, orange, and lemon.

Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Serve chilled or with ice and the Perrier.

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade Moscato

The sweetness of Moscato is one of the reasons why it is popular for dessert cocktails like the frozen strawberry lemonade Moscato. This slushie cocktail will no wonder a party favorite. You can skip serving dessert as this one packs enough calories that might need an extra mile run the day after.

Ingredients

1 bottle Pink Moscato

Frozen Hawaiian Punch Lemonade

2 c fresh frozen strawberries

Fresh lemon and strawberries for garnish

Instruction to make

Pour Pink Moscato into 2 ice cube trays and freeze for overnight. Reserve some for later.

Clean and cut up the strawberries, put it in a freezer bag and freeze overnight.

In a blender, combine the frozen Pink Moscato, frozen strawberries and frozen lemonade.

Add more of the leftover Pink Moscato to make it easier to blend. Blend until smooth.

Garnish with a sliced strawberry and lemon to each glass.  

Pink Moscato Lemonade Cocktail

Made with rare pink Muscat grapes, the expensive Pink Moscato is made more affordable without sacrificing class and sophistication with this Pink Moscato Lemonade Cocktail.

Ingredients

1 c water

1 c Domino Granulated Sugar

1 c lemon juice

10 lemon wheels

1 bot Pink Moscato

Instruction to make:

Make the simple syrup by heating sugar and water in a saucepan. Let cool.

In a pitcher, add the lemon juice and Moscato.

Slowly add the simple sugar until you get the right sweetness.

In a separate pitcher, add 1-2 scoops of ice. Arrange the lemon wheels before adding the Moscato lemonade.

Serve in wine glasses and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Moscato Margarita

The Moscato Margarita can be deceiving with its sweet and aromatic flavor. Usually made with tequila and triple sec, this version of the margarita is a lot stronger than the classic margarita recipe. Go easy on this.

Ingredients

2 oz ginger-flavored vodka

2 oz lime juice

2 oz tequila

2 oz Moscato

Instruction to make

Rim a whiskey glass by rubbing a lime wedge on it and dipping in Redmond Fine Sea Salt.

Pour all the ingredients into a glass filled with ice.

Roll it between two glasses. Rolling cocktails is simply pouring the contents from one glass to another.

Strain into whiskey glasses filled with ice.

Passionfruit Moscato Spritzer

Passionfruit gives this spritzer a refreshing tropical taste. Low in alcohol also, it is easy to enjoy this cocktail without getting too wasted.

2 oz Moscato

2 oz Lucy's Family Premium Lime Juice

2 oz Maracuya Passionfruit Nectar

1 oz simple syrup

Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water

Instruction to make

Pour all the ingredients, except the Perrier into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Give it a vigorous shake, 10-15 seconds.

Pour into a Collins glass filled with ice.

Top with the Perrier.

Garnish with a spanked mint sprig.

Conclusion

Whatever you choose, remember the Moscato is meant for celebration and drink moderately. If you are watching your weight or your sugar intake, try the Brut Moscato which has the least sugar per glass, just 10g per liter, compared to the sweet which has 30g per liter. You might as well skip dessert if you are serving Moscato. A night of celebration doesn't need to end up as a night of disaster. Enjoy your parties with your favorite drinks!


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