V. Sattui’s Muscat was the first wine I fell in love with in the early 1980s. For a new wine drinker like I was at the time, this wine’s peach, orange blossom and spice notes were the perfect entrée for me into the wine world. The wine was incredibly approachable, deliciously aromatic and wonderfully refreshing.
In the last 30 years, I’ve fallen in love with many other wines, including many big, bad reds. But Muscat still holds a warm fuzzy feeling for me.
Since starting my wine blog a few years ago, I’ve written several articles about this wine. An article in the San Jose Mercury last week by Jessica Yadegaran prompted me to write another article.
The Hip-Hop Connection
Yadegaran says that, “According to Nielsen, sales of the light, sweet, often fizzy white wine made from the Italian muscat grape spiked more than 70 percent in 2011, due in large part to its role as a drink in the hip-hop club scene.”
So what is this wine’s role in the hip-hop club scene? For starters, a number of rappers include the poetic Moscato in their lyrics. (Moscato is the Italian version of Muscat.) Also, Muscat is often used as a mixer in hip-hop clubs. Additionally, people take pictures of the Muscat at the club and send them to everybody they know via social media. Last but not least, this wine tastes great, especially for somebody new to wine.
So Muscat and Moscato are a means to bridging the generation gap. Young and old alike enjoy these wines.
Interestingly, Muscat is thought to be the oldest variety of wine grape in the world and likely the great grandparent to the Nth degree of many of the wine grapes we know and love today.
Muscat actually encompasses a family of grapes, which produces wines in a variety of styles, from extremely sweet to fairly dry.
Even the driest Muscats, have a pronounced floral aroma with musky, grape notes. The name Muscat comes from the grape’s characteristic muskiness. It’s the one wine (and grape) that you can legitimately say smells like grape. Saying that about other wines is likely to draw groans.
Muscat is known as Moscato in Italy and Moscatel in Spain. Muscadine, a grape found in the South of the United States, interestingly is not part of the Muscat family.
Muscat grapes are used to produce the sweet, sparkling Italian wine Asti Spumante. They are used to produce many other well known brandies and fortified wines throughout the world.
Besides the unbelievably wonderful taste, a big plus for the Muscat grape is its high concentrations of antioxidant flavonoids, in quantities as high as many varieties of red grapes. This means that the possible beneficial effects of red wine consumption may also be present in Muscat wines.
Muscat pairs nicely with a wide variety of foods, including desserts, spicy Chinese, Indian and Thai dishes, fruit dishes and sweet potato dishes.
Do you enjoy Muscat while hip hopping? 🙂 What is your favorite style, and what are your favorite food pairing recommendations?