Nenad Trifunovic

Moscato Wines – converting normal people into wine lovers

Moscato wine

Many people dislike wines. Until they try Moscato. Grapey and delicious, the muscat family of grapes is extremely aromatic. No, not like wine, more like grapes. Like juicy sweet berries crushed in your mouth.

What kind of wine is Moscato?

Is there a wine that can work as a convert drink, converting people into wine lovers? Your best bet is probably muscat. It can be dry or, more often, off-dry and, quite often, sweet… but it always smells and tastes like grape berries.

Frankovic vineyard
Frankovic vineyard, home of Muškat Momjanski


So, if You hear a „No, I don’t like wines. They are too soury to me.“, there is a good chance a fine Moscato will transfer a skeptic into a bee, buzzing around a glass filled with muscat. Many Moscato wines can be technically dry, but since the aromatics are so sweet and fruity, the brain tricks you into believing they’re sweet.

In Croatia, Moscato wines are most common in continental parts, the Croatian uplands, especially Međimurje and also Slavonia, but probably the most esteemed ones come from the Istrian peninsula.

Types of Moscato wine

Apart from white wines made out of muscat grapes, there are also red wines. Literally bright red in color and transparent, wines from red muscat grapes smell like roses and taste like rose petals, with plenty of red fruit.

In the Poreč area on the Istrian peninsula, such are the Poreč Muscat Rose. Rose hip and blood orange on the nose and refreshing as ideally ripe cooled down cherries. These wines are off-dry in style but harmonious and delicious.

Istria is also recognized for its grape variety Muscat Momjanski. Near the Momjan area, golden yellow Muscat grapes achieve high levels of sweetness while retaining acid freshness. You can enjoy specific floral aromatics of Muscat Momjanski as well as lychee, beeswax and nuts in fully sweet wine. Paradoxically, this dessert wine often is enjoyed instead of dessert but can be a perfect pairing to different types of desserts.

Typically, lovers of characteristic muscat flavors love their muscat in semi-sweet style or off-dry with higher levels of residual sugar. Richest examples can be found in Croatian Uplands and Slavonia.  Sweet and fragrant, sometimes exuberant but always an easy-drinking pleasure, these wines are converting people into wine lovers since… well, since forever.

After all, Moscato wines can even be made with bubbles or dry in style. Muscat Ottonel variety for example, can achieve wonderful and gentle wine, also with a low amount of alcohol and a well-balanced sense of sweetness and acidity that can work as an aperitif wine.

Grapes from the Muscat family have always been popular almost everywhere, but different climatic conditions as well as specifics in tradition, makes it interesting to compare the final results. Especially when so delicious. 

In case you were wondering the word Moscato (pronounced “moe-ska-toe”) is actually Italian name for Muscat Blanc, which is one of the oldest grape varieties. 

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