Last post I alluded to “entry point” wines, those that are likely to appeal to the tongue more accustomed to soft drinks. Often, that seems to be the White Zinfandels or other “inventions” that keep the sugar up, and the tannins down. Although not a new wine, by any stretch, but one recently bursting in popularity, Moscato is another good place to begin exploring the wine world without trying, or pretending, to like room temperature, or bitterish dryer wines. The Store I frequent, only a few months ago carried, maybe, three Moscatos. Today there are probably ten brands represented in that section, and the space allotted for Moscatos has grown from about 2 feet of one shelf, to about 3 feet of 3 shelves. Clearly, there is a discovery and enjoyment of this variety occurring, and now all the big players offer a Moscato.
Moscato is actually the Italianized name for the wine of the Muscat grape, that grows all over the world in many variations. The name may be relatively new to Americans, but they’ve likely tasted it in Italian Asti’s. Moscatos are sweet, quite sweet, citrusy-this one, the Barefoot had a lemon hint-and smell sort of flowery. Some may object to the level of sweetness, but the new and broad appeal of Moscato is for that very reason. It’s a small, easy step from 7up, or Canada Dry ginger-ale to this wine.
I have a theory, actually only a hypothesis I guess, since it’s based on nothing but some random anecdotal evidence. I think some of the recent surge in Moscato’s popularity is due to the giant pseudo-Italian restaurant chain pouring it (yes, that one…more breadsticks?) I’ve actually heard shoppers say they recently had some white wine at “that restaurant”, and their spouse, who doesn’t like wine, liked it a lot. When pointed at the Moscato shelf, the bell goes off – that’s it!
I got this bottle for 3 reasons: I’ve wanted to taste what all the buzz was about, though I fully expected to find it sweeter than I care for; I have a son, who will taste the Pinot Grigios, Chardonnays, and Sauvignon Blancs we drag home, but doesn’t really dig ’em so I though this might appeal; it is on sale for a net $3.99 for a 750 ml bottle-after an online 2 buck coupon!
Son digs it, as predicted (“best wine I’ve tasted”), Wife and I both find it too sweet-she more than I, though. Like the wine in the previous post, this is a great choice for those would like to enjoy wine, but so far have not.
There is a variation of Moscato called Moscato d’ Asti that is slightly fizzy, like the Vinho Verde we talked about last post-a frizzante. They are a bit more expensive (actually a lot more that this 4 buck-er), usually over $10. Yellowtail, who has a presence on the Moscato shelf has a “slightly fizzy” sticker on their label, as well. We’ll try one of the fizzies soon, as long as it stays within the Cheapskate limit.