Wednesday Wine Down: Moscato & Riesling

“Always keep a bottle in the fridge for special occasions – you know, like Wine Wednesday” is a saying that I stand by faithfully.  In today’s wine feature, we will again be looking at two different style wines, one a Moscato and one a Riesling that Dakari and I tasted a few weeks back. Both of these wines are sweet, but possess different varieties of sweetness. In wine world, there is what is called a Wine Sweetness Chart. This chart is merely a chart that displays the different levels of sweetness of different style wines so that wine drinkers can compare them. The sweetness in wine is attributed to residual sugar. Residual sugar is the level of glucose and fructose (grape sugars) that are not converted into alcohol during fermentation. In this post, I will discuss the sweetness of Dulcis (pronounced duhl-chi) Moscato and Washington Hills Late Harvest Sweet Riesling 2010.

Moscato has become very popular over recent years. It is made from the grape Muscat and is produced in Italy. Moscato d’Asti simply means that the wine was produced from the Muscat grape in Asti, which is a town in Italy. Moscato is a sweet, low alcohol wine, often consumed on its own, though it can be paired with food, such as dessert. It has a slight fizz about it and often possesses flavors of lighter fruits in addition to sugar.

IMG_7060Dulcis Moscato is a light, sweet wine with 5.5% alcohol content. On pour, the wine exhibits a fizzing quality that doesn’t last long and moves outward to the edges of the glass. The wine smells sweet with aromas of honey and fruit. When it comes to tasting this wine, it tastes exactly how it smells. It’s a nice combination of sugar and fruit with a dab of honey in it that you really don’t notice until the finish in my opinion. This wine pairs well with apertifs, pastries, strawberries, ice cream and cakes. I would have to say that for me, I would personally prefer a dessert that’s more on the caramel, vanilla side. Maybe something like a cheesecake. Dulcis is a great Moscato, especially for its low $10.99 price. It’s usually not found in grocery stores nor restaurants like most others in Tuscaloosa, but can be found at Spirits Wine Cellar here in town.

Rieslings are produced from the grape Riesling and can be made in Germany or areas in the United States. Rieslings, unlike Moscato, can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Rieslings also have varying alcohol contents, but more than Moscato. I’ve seen some with 7% alcohol and some with 10%. However, in relation to alcohol content, the more alcohol content, the drier (less sweet) the Riesling usually. Rieslings are also very age worthy. The wine we tasted was from 2010 and seven years later, it still had its freshness.

IMG_7061Washington Hills Late Harvest Sweet Riesling is a medium-sweet Riesling. On pour, it is a pale yellow color and is still. On the nose, the wine has somewhat of a floral quality along with citrus and honey. The taste of this wine reminded me of a Granny Smith apple on the finish and peaches and lemons near the middle of the taste. This wine also had an acidic quality to it that overall contributed to the balance of it. It was very refreshing in my opinion. The Late Harvest Riesling would pair well with a variety of foods including fruit-based desserts like an apple pie or a cobbler. With a price of $10 a bottle and alcohol content of 11%, it’s definitely a good value for the wine’s quality.

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