National Moscato Day
annually on May 9th (since 2012)
Gallo Family Vineyards in 2012
Palates are satisfied and glasses are toasted today, for it is National Moscato Day. The day was established by Gallo Family Vineyards after they saw a growing interest in Moscato wine and wanted to help propel that interest further. They also wanted the day to encourage the wine's pairing with many foods.
Moscato is a sweet white wine with a light body and low alcohol content. Usually reasonably priced, Moscato is made from Muscat grapes native to Italy, of which there are more than 200 varieties. The grapes are able to grow in most climates, but grow best in the Mediterranean area, with most coming from Asti, in the Piedmont region in Northwestern Italy.
Moscato has been around for thousands of years. With fruit and floral notes and a bit of sparkle, it traditionally has been considered to be a dessert wine, but it pairs well with many other foods as well. It goes well with cheeses, with spicy dishes with peppers, with raw vegetables and fresh fruit—especially when the notes of the wine match the fruit, with nutty flavors, with bruschetta, with brunch foods, with many Asian dishes, and with light dishes with fish, seafood, and chicken. Moscato can be drunk straight, but can also be used to make cocktails.
Just as there are many types of Muscat grapes, there are more than a few varieties of Moscato wine. Moscato d'Asti is the most common type. Made from Muscat Blanc grapes, it is what is served when Moscato is ordered. It should not be confused with Asti Spumante, usually called Asti, a meeting of Moscato and sparkling wine, similar to Champagne but made with Muscat Blanc grapes. Pink Moscato uses Muscat Blanc grapes, and a touch of Merlot is blended in the wine.
Red Moscato is made from black and orange Muscat grapes, giving it fruitier notes than Moscato d'Asti. Although Moscato is viewed as a dessert wine in general, there is a variety specifically called Dessert Moscato. Still Moscato, also known as Moscatel, is a bit different from the rest. Made with either Zibibbo or Muscat Blanc grapes, it doesn't have the sparkle, it is dry, and it has a higher alcohol content than other Moscatos. With so many varieties, there are plenty of ways to celebrate!
How to Observe National Moscato Day
Some ways you could celebrate:
- Try different varieties of Moscato, like Moscato d'Asti, Asti Spumante, Red Moscato, and Still Moscato. Similarly, try different brands of Moscato. You could pick up a bottle from Gallo Family Vineyards, the creators of National Moscato Day.
- Pair Moscato with food.
- Use Moscato to make a cocktail.
- Visit a winery and sample their Moscato wines.
- Host a wine tasting party.
- During past celebrations, Gallo Family Vineyards has organized a "national Twitter party" that included giveaways. Check if the winery is organizing anything for today.