Grape varietal family, most notably known as Muscat, comprised of 100’s of grapes ranging from white to black, believed to have originated in Alsace, France. Also grown in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Tunisia, and the Mediterranean Islands. At times it is blended with other varietals to enhance aroma or used as a sweetener in brandy and liqueur. Muscat is used in the production of white wine, fortified wines and also in the Italian sparkling wine, Asti Spumante.
The four principal varieties of the Muscat are: Alexandria Muscat (also used as a table grape), Muscat Blanc, Muscat Hamburg (also used as a table grape), and Muscat Ottonel. The Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains is basically considered to be of the finest quality.
Muscat varietal is used as table grapes and in the production of raisins. The Muscat varietal is not related in any way to the Muscatel varietal.
Also known as: Muscat, Muscat Blanc, Muskateller, Muscat of Samos, Muscat of Cephalonia, Muscat of Rhodes, Muscat of Patras, Muscat of Rio, Moscato, and Moscatto.
Characteristics: Muscat varies widely from sweet and dark (fortified), to fine and light. Most Muscat’s are soft, intense, and sweet with raisin and grape hues. Quality can be excellent to poor. Produces both sweet and dry wines.
Serving temperature: Serve dry Muscat at a temperature of 50º-55º F, sweeter Muscat at 45º-50º F.
Food pairing: Desserts, chocolate, caramel, ice cream, toffee, petit fours, Asian cuisine, sweet and sour pork, pad Thai, dim sum, fruit tarts, fruit salad, artichoke, Waldorf salad.