(MUSS-kat/ mus-SCAW-toe)
Synonyms: Muscat Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Moscato Bianco, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat d’Alsace, Muskateller, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Moscatel Rosé and Sárgamuskotály Varieties: Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Ottonel, Muscat Fleur d’Oranger

Wine Name: Muscat, Moscato or Muscat Canelli (California), Moscato di Asti, Asti, or Fior d’Arancio (Italy), Vin Doux Natural, Muscat de Beaumes-de- Venise (France) , Liquor di Muscat (Australia), Muskateller (Germany), Muscatel (Portugal)

Background: Thought to be one of the oldest grape varietals, Muscat has a distinct perfumed aroma. It can be made into a dry wine, an off dry wine and a sweet dessert wine as well as a sparkling wine of different degrees of sweetness. It is different than the Muscadel grape, the Muscadet grape and the American Muscadine grape although all have moderate perfume aromas. A young Muscat has tastes of rose petals spiked with orange blossoms and perhaps a touch of orange zest and a grapey finish. It is a low acid wine however so it does not last long in the bottle unless it was picked before full ripeness with some residual acidity.

An aged Muscat will turn dark with oxidative changes and develop aromas and flavors of figs, blackberry, coffee, prunes and nuts. Most Muscats are made with residual sweetness to offset the flowery aromas and tastes. Often Muscat is made into sparkling wines or added to sparkling wines in a small amount.

Classic Brands and Sources: Many sources in almost every grape growing country in the world.


Style #1 – dry

Body – medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry but flowery

Tannins – low

Style #2 – off dry

Body – medium +

Acidity – low

Sweetness – slightly sweet

Tannins – low

Style #3 – sweet

Body – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
As a low acid grape the dry style of wine pairs well with savory dishes and if there is residual sugar (off dry), it goes well with medium acid foods and foods that are spicy, savory or slightly sweet. Sweet styles are more for dessert accompaniments.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pairs with heavier fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and veal with that have spicy or sweet and sour sauces. Pacific rim foods from China, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as Mexican foods and American Barbecue. The hotter the spice, the more residual sugar and lower alcohol level is needed to pair with the food. The sweet versions go with desserts and chocolates.

Cheese Pairings:
dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”