Q&A: Wine & Food Questions
moscato and reisling difference
What is the difference between the moscato wine and the reisling wine?
Answer From Expert Roger C. Bohmrich, MW
Riesling and Muscat are separate grape varieties which both produce aromatic wines in various forms owing to the concentration of terpenes in the grapes. However, they are distinct and would not easily be confused by an experienced taster. True Riesling - as opposed to various others which may use this name - is considered to be a classic grape capable of producing a wide range of wines including sparkling, dry, off-dry and late harvest versions. Muscat has variants - notably, the finest known as Muscat a petits grains and Muscat of Alexandria - and usually has a perfumed or even grapey aroma. It is an ancient variety and produces many outstanding fortified wines in France, Italy, Greece and other countries. Moscato (the Italian name) d'Asti is a delicious, highly aromatic, rather sweet white wine with low alcohol which has delicate bubbles. A related and very popular wine is Asti Spumante, which is fully sparkling.
About The Expert
Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with Europe's leader in direct sales of fine wines to consumers. Previously, he served as senior executive of Frederick Wildman & Sons, traveling regularly around the world to visit wineries and taste the new vintage from barrel. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.