Moscato's popularity has grown in recent years. Hip-hop musicians sing about the wine which comes in styles varied enough to suit every taste. Muscat grapes produce table, sparkling and dessert wines, in shades of white, pink or red, ranging from dry to deliciously sweet. Traditionally, Italian winemakers used the grape to produce low-alcohol, spritzy white wines often poured as an aperitif. While today's versatile wines pair well with many dishes, sparkling and late-harvest Moscatos are particularly good with fruit tarts or rich cheesecake.
The Muscat grape has been grown around the Mediterranean for many centuries. In fact, Muscat Blanc may be the oldest known winegrape variety. Muscat grape comes in wine, table and raisin varieties. In addition to Muscat Blanc, which makes the majority of wine in California, other Muscat varieties include Muscat of Alexandria, Orange Muscat, Muscat Gaillo, sometimes called Giallo, Diamond Muscat, and Summer Muscat.
According to Nielsen Company U.S. Supermarket data, about 4.2 percent of the wine sold in U.S. food stores in 2012 was Moscato. With a 33 percent change in volume from 2011, Moscato was one of the fastest-growing varietals in the USA. The 2012 total crush for all Muscat grapes came in at 117,737 tons, almost double that of 2005.
California Traditional Table Wine Volume(Millions of nine-liter cases)
Source: Gomberg Fredrikson Report 2013
Grape Crush Tonnage by Muscat Variety
|Muscat of Alexandria||52,694||65,603||78,418|
Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service