While you might stock your fridge in the warmer months with all the rosés, light reds, and white wines you can find, it's time to make some space in your wine repertoire for Moscato. Just hear us out. "Moscato can be quite the divisive grape because it is used in many different styles of wine," says Percy Rodriguez, beverage director at Second. The truth is, Moscato gets a bad rap, but if you know the best Moscatos to look for (and what to use them for), you might actually be surprised by it.
"In the summer, a cheap bottle of Moscato d'Asti is a great topper to sweeten cocktails or spritzes," suggests Rodriguez. "Try Aperol and club soda, but instead of prosecco, give a healthy splash of Moscato. It'll be a bit sweeter than a classic Aperol spritz, but if you have that sweet tooth, this will disappear from the glass pretty quickly."
Whether you're planning on drinking Moscato in a cocktail or on its own, we found out that New York City sommeliers can't stop raving about this unsung hero of the white wine world.
According Jason White, beverage director and service manager at Bararano, this producer from northwest Italy has one of the best Moscatos he's ever come across. The wine is elegant and zippy, with soft herbaceous notes. "It wraps the honeyed floral nose alongside wet minerality, backing the thirst quenching, lightly citric acidity at its core. Forget 'all day rose'—this Moscato is where it's at," White says.
Beverage director at Left Bank, Iam Morrison, explains that the best Msocatos are light, refreshing sippers with a touch of sweetness, and low enough in alcohol that you can throw back a few glasses without overdoing it. "La Spinetta 'Biancospino' is full of fresh, tropical, and citrus flavors, and is, undoubtedly, one of the better offerings currently on the market," he says.
Bricco del Sole
Moscato is the perfect choice for some afternoon bubbles when it's warm out. Another one of Morrisons favorites, this Moscato d'Asti features ripe stone fruit flavors.
Reach for this sweet and sparkling dessert wine at the end of your meal—this Moscato was practically made for balmy, summer nights. "Moscato d'Asti has few equals when it comes to finishing off a cup of sorbet or a bowl of fresh fruit," says Rodriguez.
This family-run winery focuses on sustainable, nontraditional practices, and has been synonymous with quality for a few decades now. They use techniques sometimes referred to as 'modern,' such as whole-cluster fermentation. This allows them to pull the best from both modernist and traditionalist winemaking techniques, explains White. "This Moscato is off-dry (sweet) and bubbly, zesty, slightly creamy, bursting with fruit and herbs, and most importantly delicious! Serve chilled and drink often—which won't be hard to do," he White.