Happy National Moscato Day!
Sweet little moscato was known mainly as a dessert wine but then found itself in the midst of a messy fight with Cristal and the hip-hop world.
The rap community loves singing about the good life and that included the high-end champagne Cristal. But in 2006, Cristal’s CEO made some unfortunate, misconstrued comments about the hip hop community, so Jay Z called a boycott.
And moscato became the hot hip-hop sexy replacement.
According to Nielsen, moscato accounts for a 6.7% share of all wine sold in the USA, with total sales of over 7.5 million cases (for the 52 weeks ending 3/26/2016). That’s up 2% over the previous year, which is a ton considering the volume.
Moscato is made from the muscat grape, which is also a table grape and used to make raisins. It's planted all the world, but some of the most well-known moscatos come from Italy’s Piedmont region, which is in the northeast corner of the country.
The wine, which can be white, yellow or pink, is sweet and often slightly bubbly -- or frizzante style, as the Italians say. And its super low in alcohol – like 5-7% compared to close to 15% in your big cabernets. So it’s really easy to drink, especially for the uninitiated.
And moscato is not just for dessert. It works great with some of your favorite foods.
Try it with:
- Spicy Asian food – like Thai, Szechuan, Korean. The sweetness will temper the heat.
- Blues cheese -- like gorgonzola or crescenza
- And hot dogs -- at least that what the folks at Gallo Family suggest. Can’t say we ever tried it but we’re open to anything.
So here are a few wines to try on National Moscato Day. Let us know your favorite – or if they inspire you to rap.
Bartenura Moscato ($13)
Zonin Primo Amore ($12)
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.