What’s up with Moscato?! Sales of the slightly sweet (usually), sometimes fizzy wine were up more than 30 percent last year, and that’s above and beyond the whopping 75 percent or so increase the year before. Turns out there’s little mystery about who’s drinking it and why: With hip-hop artists trading in their deep-pocket Cristal Champagne for this highly affordable quaff, and writing it into rap lyrics, millennial drinkers are piling on. And my daughter, Audrey, is with them. Recently—goaded by her Moscato-love admission (read the full tale in my SIP column the April issue of Sunset)—I faced the beast and tasted through a ton of Moscatos to find out if there’s really something there to like. Actually, I challenged Audrey and her housemates to a taste-off. Here are three we all liked, and their comments instead of mine.
Enotria 2011 Moscato (Mendocino; $15). “Fruity, not earthy; more crisp than sweet. Apple (green) and pear.” And a highly sophisticated out-take from Audrey’s friend Alexa: “stemmy.”
St. Supéry 2012 Moscato (Napa Valley; $25). “Sweeter than the Enotria and not as crisp; no bitter aftertaste. Fruity and smooth—it drinks like juice, with a little bit of sweet apple and peach.” And then food pairing was on their minds: “I could eat lemony chicken with rosemary, salad, watermelon …”
Beni di Batasiolo 2011 Bosc Moscato d’Asti (DOCG; $16). “Bubbly! Seems sweeter than the St. Supéry, but doesn’t have as sweet an aftertaste [these kids are good! That would be the Italian acidity and minerality kicking in to offset the sugar]. This is the best one—more mellow and balanced—with strawberries and apple.