Top 10 Moscato Wines for Every Palate | Wine Enthusiast
Wine bottle illustration Displaying 0 results for
Suggested Searches
Articles & Content

Sweet, Sparkling or Dry: Our Top 10 Moscatos for Every Palate

When you buy something through our link, we may earn a small commission. Wine Enthusiast does not accept money for editorial wine reviews. Read more about our policy.

When you buy something using retail links in our stories, we may earn a commission. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment for reviews of wines, beers, spirits or other products. Read about our blind tasting and review process here.

Think all Moscato is sweet, fruity and cloying? Think again. This highly aromatic wine comes from the Muscat family of grapes, which encompasses an incredible array of grape varieties that can yield pours from bone-dry to lusciously sweet.

The most famous of the Muscat grapes is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains or Moscato Bianco, which is used in Piedmont’s Moscato d’Asti. This sweet and charming wine is semi-sparkling, or frizzante, meaning it’s more spritzy rather than full-on bubbly. Moscato d’Asti has been made for centuries, with records of the wine from as far back as the 13th century in the town of Canelli. Light, floral and low in alcohol, the wine is historically said to be the favorite lunch time sip for Italian field workers.

In southern Italy and Sicily, Muscat of Alexandria flourishes, where it is locally called Zibibbo. This version of Muscat traces its roots back to Egypt. The most well-known Zibibbo production is Passito di Pantelleria, which is a sweet wine made on a tiny island off Sicily’s southwest coast. It’s made by drying the grapes to remove excess water, concentrating the flavors and sugars to yield a delicious wine rife with marmalade and honey flavors. Elsewhere in Sicily, as well as in Calabria, dry styles of Zibibbo are rare but worth seeking out. These are delicate, light-bodied sips that play up the variety’s boisterous floral and fruity notes.

In Alsace, dry Muscats are typically produced using a blend of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat Ottonel. Together they make delicate wines that show the distinct floral and white grape notes, and are often perfect as an aperitif.

Outside of the Old World, Muscat has found a home in both the southern hemisphere and the U.S.’s west coast. Australia’s famous “stickies” from Rutherglen are made from Muscat à Petits Grains. These are unctuously sweet wines that can stand the test of time. In California you’ll find a host of low-alcohol, sweet pours made from the variety, often displaying great value.

Bottle of Albert Boxler Muscat wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Albert Boxler 2017 Muscat (Alsace); $46, Buy on Vivino. Salinity and a hint of sweet licorice root lead the nose on this wine. The palate is similarly solemn, with notes of pear and almond… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Barefoot Moscato wine.
Photo courtesy Total Wine & More

Barefoot NV Moscato (California); $6, Buy on Total Wine & More. Very fruity and somewhat floral in aroma, this light-bodied wine shows… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Benvenuto Moscato.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Benvenuto 2020 Zibibbo (Calabria); $24, Buy on Vivino. Ripe aromas of white grape, melon and papaya blend with jasmine and lily on the nose. It’s rounded and gentle on the palate… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Domain Charles Baur Moscato wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Domaine Charles Baur 2019 Muscat (Alsace); $23, Buy on Vivino. Salinity meets almond and honeysuckle on the nose of this wine. The mouthfeel is light but voluminous, like whipped cream, complemented by searing acidity… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Moscato Donnafugata wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Donnafugata 2018 Ben Ryè (Passito di Pantelleria); $87, Buy on Vivino. Made with 100% dried Zibibbo grapes, this iconic dessert wine opens with aromas of mature apricot, acacia honey and orange jam… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Moscato Mareno wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Marenco 2020 Strevi Scrapona (Moscato d’Asti); $21, Buy on Vivino. Delicious and enticing, this smooth sparkling dessert wine offers delicate aromas of botanical herbs, white spring flowers and yellow stone fruit. The palate is a fantastic combination of vibrant, savory and sweet… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Quady orange Muscat.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Quady 2018 Essensia Orange Muscat (California); $23, Buy on Vivino. This lightly sweet and complex wine blends floral notes with honey, almond and peach-syrup flavors… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Chambers rare Muscat wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Chambers Rosewood Vineyards NV Rare Muscat (Rutherglen); $350, Buy on Vivino. Made from vines dating back to the early 1900s and from a solera blending system that goes back to the 1890s, this is a fortified to fall head-first into. It envelops the senses with notes of walnut paste, praline, date, chocolate and a woodsy whisper… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Salt of the Earth Moscato.
Photo courtesy Total Wine & More

Salt of the Earth 2020 Rubino Moscato (California); $12, Buy on Total Wine & More. When the occasion calls for a sweet red wine that’s low in alcohol and high in fresh, fruity, floral flavors, this wine fills the bill… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW

Bottle of Saracco Moscato d'Asti wine.
Photo courtesy Vivino

Saracco 2021 Moscato d’Asti; $18, Buy on Vivino. This lovely, sweet sparkler opens with heady aromas of yellow stone fruit, spring blossoms and wild aromatic herbs. The savory palate delivers ripe apricot, creamy yellow peach, rosemary and sage… SEE SCORE AND REVIEW