Italian Moscato wine, renowned for its irresistible sweetness and captivating aromas, is a delightful embodiment of Italy’s rich winemaking heritage. Derived from the Muscat family of grapes, particularly the Moscato Bianco variety, this vibrant and effervescent wine has captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts worldwide.
With its distinctive notes of ripe stone fruits, floral bouquets, and a hint of refreshing acidity, Italian Moscato transports the senses to sun-drenched vineyards nestled among picturesque landscapes. Whether enjoyed as a luscious dessert wine or a lively aperitif, Italian Moscato tantalizes the palate with its enchanting sweetness, making it a beloved treasure among both casual sippers and discerning connoisseurs.
Most well-known for its Moscato d’Asti interpretation, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about moscato especially if you love sweet wines.
What is Moscato wine?
Moscato is a grape used to make the wine of the same name. Also known as Muscat Blanc it’s one of the oldest grapes in the world. In Italy, this is quite a commonly grown grape that is found up north in Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino, Alto Adige, Veneto and Sardegna.
In Italy, Moscato wine is used most commonly to mark a celebration (like a birthday) and paired with dessert.
In Piedmont, the white moscato grape is actually the second most planted in the entire region. The very best wines made from this grape are Moscato d’Asti DOCG which is a semi sparkling version and Asti Spumante (sparkling) version. The grapes have grown throughout Piedmont in Langhe and Monferrato since the 1300s, so there is a long history and tradition of making delicious moscato Italian wine here! It’s aromatic, sweet with acidic notes, a perfume of sage, citronella and white peach.
If you’re interested in trying dry moscato wine, look out for those made in Trentino Alto-Adige. These regions make aromatic pink moscato versions with intense notes of alpine strawberries, raspberries and roses.
Is Moscato wine sweet?
Whilst you can find still and dry versions of Italian moscato wine, its most famous varieties in Italy are sweet and sparkling or semi-sparkling. The best dry varities of Moscato come from Trentino Alto-Adige or Veneto.
Where to buy Moscato wine?
Our favorite moscato is undoubtedly from Asti in Piedmont. That said, you can find really good moscato wine online especially at wine.com for Italian versions or try your local Italian wine shop.
Do you chill Moscato wine?
It’s really important to get the serving temperature of Moscato right especially if you’re drinking it’s sweet versions. The recommend temperature to serve is between 41-46°F or 5-8°C. If you drink this wine warm, then it will be sickly sweet and the refreshing acidity will be dimmed.
What is a good moscato wine?
Not all moscato wine is made equal and unfortunately cheap, low quality (high quantity) Italian moscato wines have given them a bad name. The most famous Italian moscato comes from Piedmont – either Moscato d’Asti DOCG which is a semi sparkling veresion and Asti Spumante (sparkling) version. When it comes to choosing something different and you want the very best, look out for these:
- ‘il Loazzolo DOC’ in Piedmont: It’s a tiny area with just a few hectares growing. This is an extraordinary dessert wine with an elegant perfume of vanilla and candied fruits. It goes really well with aged cheeses or chocolate and berries.
- Moscato from Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy
- Look out for Moscato from i Colli Euganei and particularly ‘Moscato Fior d’Arancio DOCG’ noted for its orange blossom perfume. You can find it in botth sweet and dry varieties as well as a passito.
- In Sardegna, the Moscato di Sorso-Sennori DOC is a sweet wine high quality
5 best Moscato wines to try in 2024
1. Moscato d’Asti Canelli Tenuta del Fant 2021 from Tenuta Il Falchetto
Winner of the 2023 Gambero Rosso Tre Biccheri awards, this is a seriously delicious Moscato. It’s pleasantly sweet, rich and creamy with an effervescence that enhances its freshness. Try it with pastries is excellent, aged cheeses or simply with fresh fruit salads.
2. Moscato d’Asti Casa di Bianca 2021 from Gianni Doglia
Another Gambero Rosso Tre Biccheri winner, this is a top quality Moscato d’Asti to seek out. On the nose, you’ll enjoy sage and star anise which mingle with the underlying sweetness. Enjoy as an aperitif with cured meats and aged cheeses or with dessert, like pastries, fruit cakes or the classic Panettone and Pandoro.
This is a semi sparkling Moscato with a delicate sweetness you’ll love. Think aromas of peaches, rose petals and ginger, with balanced acidity, good complexity and a finish of fresh apricots on the palette. It’s ideal as an aperitif or to pair with desserts or cheese courses.
Fontanafredda is one of the most important wineries in Piedmont so this guide would be remiss not to include their Moscato. Think notes of musk, orange flowers, sage and honey, with a pleasantly sweet taste that is very well-balanced and features honey and just-picked grapes. Enjoy by itself or paired with dessert.
Like summer in a glass, this delicious sweet wine has aromas of peach, apricot, apple, pear, citrus and exotic fruits combined with sage and other aromatic herbs. Just lightly sparkling, the palette is left feeling clean and refreshed rather than cloying sweet. This is perfect for daytime drinking thank to its low alcohol content too!