Today Moscato often refers to a style of wine made from Muscat grapes that is low alcohol, light-bodied and sweet, with fruity and floral aromas and flavors, and light bubbles (frizzante). This is likely due to the popularity of Moscato d’Asti wine from Italy (sweet, light bodied, frizzante, low alcohol). Moscato (Italian) and Muscat (French) mean exactly the same thing, however, Muscat wines are often considered to be in the fortified style with a heavier body. Fortified means that alcohol has been added to the wine to arrest the fermentation and preserve the Muscat wine’s natural sweetness. Fortified Muscats have a higher alcohol percentage (15-18%) than Moscatos (4.5-5.5%). In addition to sparkling and semi-sparkling, other styles of Moscato wine include still Moscato, pink Moscato, red Moscato, and Moscato dessert wines.
Moscato wines are made with Muscat grapes, of which there are more than 200 varieties. The most commonly grown varieties are Muscat of Alexandria and Muscat Canelli, and both are used in winemaking, although Muscat of Alexandria is typically grown for table grapes and raisins. At Quady Winery, we use Muscat Canelli, Orange Muscat and Black Muscat; it is rare to see Orange Muscat and Black Muscat as the predominant varietals in a wine. Black Muscat itself is a rare varietal because it’s the only Muscat variety with a black skin and it is the most aromatic of all muscat varietals. Much of the Orange and Black Muscat grown in California is used at Quady Winery. We value and know how to treat these distinctive, aromatic varieties like no other.
Moscato is not just a dessert wine. Because it is sweet, Moscato can certainly be enjoyed paired with desserts, but because of its low alcohol content, light body and balanced acidity, Moscato also pairs excellently with spicy foods, cultural cuisines, salads, brunch and so much more. It can also be enjoyed as an aperitif before dinner given its lighter nature and low alcohol content. Moscato is more of an “any time” wine than a dessert wine! Dessert wines tend to be fuller bodied and higher in alcohol, around 15% or higher.
Moscato is sweet and has flavors and aromas of citrus, pear, stone fruit like peach and apricot, orange blossom and honeysuckle. Red Moscato, when made with true Black Muscat grapes like Red Electra Moscato, has flavors and aromas of fresh berries and pomegranate. A pink Moscato like Electra Moscato Rosé, when made with all Muscat varietals, has flavors and aromas of strawberry and dragonfruit.
No, Moscato is a light-bodied sweet wine served chilled, with low alcohol content and light bubbles that are crisp and refreshing on the palate. This easy-drinking wine has delicate citrus and floral flavors and aromas that complement a variety of foods, from savory to spicy to sweet.
Moscato wine is sweet, since the Muscat grapes used to make it have high residual sugar and low acid. At Quady Winery, we ferment our Electra Moscatos slowly at very cold temperatures and arrest fermentation at 4.5-5.5% alcohol to preserve the natural sweetness in the grape juice and the CO2 that results from fermentation. This produces light-bodied sweet wines with crisp, refreshing bubbles bursting with fruity and floral flavors and aromas.
Moscato is a low-alcohol wine, with alcohol content ranging from 4.5% to 6.5%. (Traditional table wines are usually in the 13% range.) Because it is sweet and lower in alcohol, Moscato is crisp and refreshing with light bubbles and delicate fruit and floral flavors and aromas.
Moscatos are sweet wines, but are some sweeter than others? This of course depends on the amount of residual sugar left in the wine after fermentation. Electra Moscato, Red Electra Moscato and Electra Moscato Rosé all have 25 g of sugar per serving, but our fans tell us they think Red Electra Moscato is the sweetest Moscato out of the three.
Exact calories depend on the specific Moscato; Electra Moscatos have 150 calories per 5 fl.-oz. serving.
Moscato is an excellent wine for beginners because of its sweet taste, fruity flavors and aromas, and low alcohol content. Its slight spritz also makes it crisp and refreshing on the palate. While Moscato is an ideal wine for beginners, Electra Moscatos are also a great choice for seasoned wine drinkers because of their complexity and distinctive Muscat flavors and aromas. Crafted by the sweet wine experts at Quady Winery, Electra Moscatos are made only with Muscat varietals for true, unmatched flavors and aromas balanced with characteristic Muscat sweetness and acidity.
Moscato is best served chilled, so we recommend refrigerating it for at least several hours before enjoying. You want it to reach about 40 °F to soften its sweetness and allow its fruit and floral flavors and aromas to shine. After opening the bottle, store in the fridge for up to a week. Moscato is also the type of wine that does well with ice in it, however, you do run the risk of watering down some of the flavors, aromas and bubbles this way.
Don’t have time to refrigerate? You can put ice in your Moscato to cool it down while sipping! Just keep in mind that like with any drink you put ice in, you run the risk of watering down the flavors, aromas and bubbles as the ice melts. Your best option is to refrigerate your Moscato for several hours until completely chilled before consuming.
Moscato is best enjoyed chilled. Before opening, place it in the refrigerator for several hours until it is completely chilled, or reaches a temperature of about 40 °F. This will soften its sweetness a bit and allow its flavors and aromas to really shine.
Because of its low alcohol content and sweetness, Moscato wine pairs especially well with spicy and salty foods. The level of alcohol in the Moscato won’t clash or compete with the level of spice in the dish, and the sweetness in Moscato is also a delicious complement to salt, spices and spicy produce like chili peppers. Try Electra Moscato Rosé with a variety of Asian cuisines, Red Electra Moscato with tacos and other Mexican dishes, and Electra Moscato with tangy barbecue! Moscato can also be served with fruits, salads, cheeses, charcuterie and sweets like chocolate truffles and holiday pies. Experiment with your own pairings to find out what you like best – there’s no wrong way to enjoy a Moscato!
Moscato wine pairs very well with light desserts like fruit pies and tarts, cookies, chocolate truffles, meringues and creamy desserts like vanilla ice cream. Because Moscato wine is light and sweet, it also complements tart cheeses like goat cheese, mild creamy cheeses like brie, and salty cheeses like blue cheese.
Making a Moscato slushy is super easy! Because Moscato is low in alcohol, it will ice up in the freezer after several hours. Simply pour Moscato into a freezer bag or plastic container, seal and allow to freeze overnight. That’s it! Scoop your Moscato slushy into a cup and it’s ready to enjoy!
A dessert wine is a category of wine characterized by its higher residual sugar content. In other words, a dessert wine is a sweet wine that can be paired with desserts for a harmonious interplay of flavors because the levels of sweetness do not compete between the wine and the dessert. The sweetness in dessert wines is achieved through the use of grapes with high sugar content. To make these wines, fermentation is stopped before the yeast convert all grape sugars into alcohol. This can be done by fermenting the wine slowly at very cold temperatures or adding a distilled spirit like brandy to the wine (fortifying), which kills the yeast. We use both methods to make our sweet wines here at Quady Winery. Other ways to make dessert wines include using late-harvest grapes; the grapes are allowed to raisinate, which increases the sugar content; or using grapes affected by Noble Rot, which is a type of mold that concentrates the sugars in the grapes.
Choosing a good wine for dessert generally depends on the type of dessert you are serving, but one characteristic you’ll definitely want to select is sweetness. You don’t want the wine to be dry, which would take away from the sweetness of the dessert, just like you don’t want the dessert to clash with the wine. Next think about the flavors in the wine and the flavors in the dessert – would you pair them together?
For example, a dessert wine like Elysium Black Muscat, which has aromas of rose and tastes of dark berries like boysenberry and strawberry, pairs excellently with chocolate desserts, and creamy desserts like vanilla ice cream and cheesecake. These are all desserts that are delicious with dark berries added! A dessert wine like Essensia Orange Muscat, with its citrus blossom aromas and spicy orange-marmalade characteristics, pairs incredibly well with fruit-based desserts like apple and banana cream pies, spiced cookies and cakes, chocolates and cheesecake. These are all desserts that pair well with fruit and spice flavors. A port-style wine like Starboard Batch 88, with chocolate-raisin characteristics, goes especially well with chocolate desserts. Still aren’t sure what wine to pick? Ask for recommendations or try looking up the tasting notes of a dessert wine you’re interested in; most wineries will list them on the product pages.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying sweet wine on its own; you don’t have to eat dessert with it! Dessert wine is commonly enjoyed in place of dessert for a sweet ending to a meal.
The main difference between dessert wine and other wines is the sweetness. Dessert wines are made with grapes that have high sugar content, and the wines are fermented in such a way as to preserve the sugar. This is done by fermenting the wines very slowly at very cold temperatures, or by adding a distilled spirit like brandy to the wine to kill the yeast so that it doesn’t eat the sugar, thus leaving the wine sweet.
When a dessert wine is fortified (alcohol is added), this increases the alcohol content of the wine to a higher percentage (over 14%) than that of traditional table wine (usually 13%). This is another reason dessert wine is different from other wines. And unlike most dry wines, dessert wines pair wonderfully with sweets! An important rule is that generally speaking, the wine should be sweeter than the dessert so that the sweetness of the dessert complements rather than competes with the wine.
There are many types of dessert wines made in many different ways, but some of the most well-known types of dessert wine are Sauternes, Tokaji, Ice Wine, Port, Sherry and other sweet fortified and sparkling wines. Dessert wines can be sparkling or fortified (alcohol is added to arrest fermentation) and range from lightly sweet to having a rich sweetness. Dessert wines are made from both red and white grapes. Quady Elysium Black Muscat is a sweet red dessert wine in the fortified style made from Black Muscat grapes. Quady Essensia Orange Muscat is also a sweet wine made in the fortified style from Orange Muscat grapes. Both Essensia and Elysium are considered richly sweet dessert wines, whereas Quady Starboard Batch 88, is a fortified port-style wine. Port is a type of dessert wine that is fortified to approximately 20% alcohol and aged a number of years in barrels. There are many different styles of Port. Quady Starboard Batch 88 has elements of both a ruby port and a tawny port; it is both sweet and nutty.
Whether a dessert wine should be chilled or not depends on the style and type of dessert wine. White dessert wines are best served chilled, usually between 43-46 °F (6-8 °C). Red dessert wines, which are more robust in texture, are best served slightly chilled at 46-53 °F (8-12 °C). When determining whether or not to chill your dessert wine, think of the complexity and aromatics of the wine. Fruit-driven flavors and aromas do well when chilled.
A Moscato d’Asti-style wine like Electra Moscato is an excellent dessert wine for beginners. This is because it is lower in alcohol than other dessert wines and has refreshing qualities due to its slight spritz and fragrant fruit aromas and flavors. Easy-drinking Electra Moscatos are crisp and light on the palate with balanced acidity and a sweetness that pairs well with fruit desserts, cookies, chocolate truffles and more.
Dessert wines that are higher in alcohol will likely last longer than those with lower alcohol content. Without refrigeration, a dessert wine may last a week or more – longer if it is topped with nitrogen or sealed with a vacuvin-type of closure. Dessert wines that are refrigerated after opening may last several weeks.
Dessert wines that have been fortified have a higher alcohol content than other sweet/dessert wines. Fortified means alcohol – a distilled spirit like brandy – has been added to the wine to stop the fermentation process and preserve the natural sweetness in the wine. This results in a sweet wine with higher alcohol content, around 15%. Dessert wines that have not been fortified have lower alcohol. If you are looking for a low alcohol sweet wine for dessert, Electra Moscato would be a good choice.
Dessert wine should be refrigerated after opening to mitigate the effects of oxidation and preserve the life of the wine. A lighter dessert wine like Moscato d’Asti will last about a week if refrigerated, while a fortified wine with higher alcohol content will last longer – several weeks – when refrigerated.
Dessert wine should be served with the dessert course, which comes before coffee or espresso. If you like, you can serve a digestif such as grappa or amaro after coffee.
Many dessert wines pair fantastically with cheese. Dessert wines such as sweet Sauternes, Barsac or sweet Muscat like Quady Elysium are especially good accompaniments to blue cheeses. For sour cheeses like goat cheese, try Quady Essensia Orange Muscat for a delightful interplay of sweet and sour. Quady Electra Moscato also pairs well with goat cheese.
The dessert wine you are serving should be sweeter than the dessert you are serving. If the dessert wine is less sweet than the dessert, it will begin to taste dry and become less enjoyable.
Quady Winery has been specializing in sweet winemaking since 1975. Our focus is distinctive and rare Muscat varietals: Orange Muscat and Black Muscat blended with Muscat Canelli. We make three Muscat dessert wines: Essensia Orange Muscat, Elysium Black Muscat and Deviation Aromatized Orange Muscat. Quady Winery also makes the popular Electra Moscatos: White, Red and Rosé, and Starboard Batch 88, a port-style sweet wine. Quady is also home to Vya Vermouths (Sweet, Extra Dry and Whisper Dry), which are crafted to be enjoyed as aperitifs and in cocktails.
Sometimes we do have old barrels for sale. Please call the winery at 1.800.733.8068 and speak with our staff to inquire.
Unfortunately, we do not have seating areas in our tasting room or the winery property for guests to sit and enjoy food. For the courtesy of our other tasters at the tasting counter, we ask that all guests refrain from bringing food and outside alcoholic beverages into our tasting room.
Our tasting fee is $5 per person and free for club members.
No, you do not need reservations to taste at Quady Winery. However, if you are part of a large group, we do ask for advance notice so we can ensure we are properly staffed. If you will be tasting with a large group, please call us at 1.800.733.8068.
We do not currently offer tours of Quady Winery except for special events due to construction around the winery. This is subject to change, however, so please call the winery at 1.800.733.8068 to confirm.
Unfortunately, we do not have event space at the winery.