Thursday, October 6, 2011
Muskrat? No, Muscat…as in Moscato.
Moscato. I’d never heard of it before. My mom is the first person I know that drinks it. Apparently, my spellchecker had never heard of it before either.
So, off to Wikipedia I go again! There appears to be a bajillion different kind of wines and names for this silly grape. Ok, maybe not a bajillion. But a lot.
The Muscat variety of grapes of the species Vitis vinifera is widely grown for wine, raisins and table grapes. Their color ranges from white to near black. Muscat almost always has a pronounced sweet floral aroma. Muscat grapes are grown around the world in Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, California, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Oregon, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and other places. The breadth and number of varieties of muscat suggest that it is perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety, and there are theories that most families within the Vitis vinifera grape variety are descended from the Muscat variety.
Muscat grapes have been found to have high concentrations of antioxidant flavonoids, in quantities as high as many varieties of red grapes. This means that the possible beneficial effects of red wine consumption may also be present in muscat wines. It’s also the base white wine for Asti Spumante, a white sparkling Italian wine. (Ah, no wonder mom likes it so much!)
I also found some great info on wineaccess. They have a list of recommended wineries and top rated Muscat wines. Some were around $15/bottle. Others were $82/bottle. So, pretty much the same as every other kind of wine. If you have 82 bucks to spend on ONE bottle of wine…go for it! (And invite my mom and I over so we can try it without having to buy it. K? Thanks.Oh, I know I said I didn't drink, but I never turn down free expensive wine. )
When I asked her which one was her favorite, she couldn’t pick just one. And, since I don’t typically drink it, I don’t really have any personal recommendations for you. Nuts!
What about you? Any Muscat/Moscato/Musrkat drinkers out there that can tell me their favorite?
(Hang in there my red wine friends! They are coming!)