Muscat called Moscata in Italy and Moscatel in Portugal and Spain is one of the most extensively widespread grape families in the world. It is said to have its origins in the Middle East and has been in use for making wines since the time of the Ancient Greeks. These grapes thrive in warm Mediterranean climates like Italy, parts of France, Spain, and some parts of Australia. The grape which produces Muscat wine has gone through many mutations, crossings and each variety of grape produce wine of its own nuance and character.
This wine has a distinctive aroma of grapes which is one of its chief properties. It can be produced as dry, sweet, medium, sparkling or as a dessert wine. It is a wine that has low acidity and therefore unsuited to be aged for more than four years unless it is specially fortified. The grape, Muscat, is the only grape that produces wine that has a taste of the grape itself. Muscat grapes have a high concentration of antioxidant flavonoids that can match those normally found in various types of red grapes.
There are over 200 different varieties of the grapes that produce Muscat wine and come in many different colors from pale green, red, pale yellow, pink, golden, black, and brown and many variations. It grows best in damp and deep soils in warm climates. It is highly susceptible to disease and is as a result, low yielding. Only a few of these varieties are considered suitable for making wine. It is the only grape that produces wine that greatly resembles the taste and aroma of the grape itself.
Muscat wines have a sweet taste, as the grapes that they are made from, have low acid and high residual sugar content. They have a pronounced and sweet floral aroma that reminds you strongly of grapes. The regions from which the grapes are obtained can determine the floral aroma that is often a part of these wines. These wines make for perfect summer drinks that are best served ice-cold. The late harvesting of grapes can increase the levels of sugar and also cause other changes that can alter the taste of the wine.
In some cases, the grapes are dried before they are fermented and the wine produced is then aged for three years in barrels. This changes the color to amber and gives it varied flavors. The wine produced from Muscat grapes also forms the basis for the making of brandy in certain countries like Chile, Peru, and Greece. Muscat wines are not considered as mainstream wines but have made their presence felt in every country where these wines are produced. As wine from these grapes has been produced for thousands of years, there is no doubt that they have played a significant role in the development of other wines and wine products, and have thus made a substantial contribution to the wines now being consumed all over the world. It is a wine that has also largely been used for producing a wide variety of blended wines.