Muscat and Moscato

Just had to do a Sunday Express column on Moscato, which gave me a chance to try a few different ones. I’ve included Muscat here, as well as what we normally think of as Moscato – a light, fizzy, sweet and rather delicious wine that offers simple joy.

Curatolo Arini Zibibbo 2011 Sicily, Italy
12.5% alcohol. Zibibbo is the Sicilian name for the Muscat grape variety, and this is a really fantastic dry white, showing that this grape doesn’t just have a talent for sweet wines. It’s from the west of the island, and has some pithy terpenic notes, but also flavours of grapes, herbs, spice and orange peel with a hint of mintiness and a lovely texture. 90/100 (£ 17.99 Philglas & Swiggot here, Vallebona here, Buon Vino here, Shills of Station Street here, The Fine Wine Company here)

Contero Moscato d’Asti di Strevi DOCG 2012 Piedmont, Italy
5.5% alcohol. Moscato is meant to be fun, and this is a fun wine, but it’s a more serious expression of Moscato, too, with sweet, pure pear and grape notes, lovely freshness and great balance. Sweet and fizzy, but a little more grown up than some. 89/100 (£13.99 Highbury Vintners here, here)

GD Vajra Moscato d’Asti 2012 Piedmont, Italy
5.5% alcohol. This is brilliant, and worth the premium price. Grapey and luscious but with good balance and some subtle herby notes. Really lovely example of Moscato at its best. 90/100 (£14.99 Lea & Sandeman here, The Wine Reserve here, Wine Direct here)

Donnafugata ‘Ben Rye’ Passito di Pantelleria 2010 Sicily, Italy
14.5% alcohol. Is this the world’s greatest Muscat? It’s made from grapes that have been dried in the sun, and is a beautiful orange/bronze colour. The flavours are remarkable, spanning raisins, apricots, spice and honey, as well as wax and herbs. Super-concentrated and very sweet. An amazing wine. 94/100 (£35.99 for 37.5cl Hedonism Wines here, Field & Fawcett here, Eclectic Tastes here)

2 comments to Muscat and Moscato

  • ross

    sadly neither of the moscato are available here in the southern colonies which is a damn shame.

    One of life’s little pleasures is a half bottle of moscato drunk with zabaglione made with the other half bottle. Chuck in some biscotti and grilled figs and you have baby Jesus in velvet pantaloons

  • Moscato has suddenly become very popular with the 20-30 year olds. Something to do with Hip Pop artists such as Kanye and Drake singing about it in their lyrics.

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