Wine Expert Explains The Best Dessert Flavors To Pair With Moscato

Ask an oenophile what they think about Moscato, and it is very likely that the answers will be black and white. Wine drinkers tend to have specific reasons for their affinity or hatred towards Moscato that range from "Oh, it's sweet!" to "Ugh, it's sweet." Whether you like it or not, Moscato wines — or Muscat, Moscadel, or whatever nomenclature you know it by — are pretty popular, and according to Pix, the makers might have rappers to thank.

According to Wachusett Wine & Spirits, Moscato was originally a dessert wine — and it still passes as one — so if you crinkle your nose at Moscatos, you might change your mind once you pair it right. For your convenience, Mashed talked to expert Scott Mattson — who is a sommelier at Nocturne, a jazz and supper club in Denver's RiNo neighborhood — to ask what works best so you won't pull a Drake and drink it with lobster and shrimp.

Before we talk about pro pairing, here's a little crash course in Moscato. Per MasterClass, Moscato has its roots in Italy and is made from Muscat grapes. Mattson says Muscat is originally from Greece but is cultivated throughout the world.

According to MasterClass, there are five styles of moscato wine: Moscato d'Asti, Asti, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Pink Moscato, and Red Moscato. Moscato d'Asti and Asti are the bubbly varieties, and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is a still wine. Pink Moscato gets its color from a dash of red wine like merlot, and Red Moscato is made with black Muscat grapes.

Now, on to the good stuff.

These are the best dessert flavors to pair with moscato

According to Mattson, the Italians love their Moscatos during summertime, and fruits would make for a great dessert flavor. They will often soak fresh strawberries, raspberries, and grapes in Moscato and lemon peel during the day and serve it after dinner with chilled Moscato.

Besides shrimp and lobster, there are a few other things you shouldn't serve with Moscato. "Moscato can be challenging with chocolate, especially dark chocolate or desserts that are more on the bitter side," Mattson says. Wine Deals suggests pairing Moscato with spicy foods, like these spicy chicken potstickers. Moscato also goes well with vanilla ice cream and creme brûlée.

When it comes to picking a good dessert wine, it's all about the timing for Mattson. "I'm thinking first about what time of year it is and what (if anything) I am eating with it," he says. He also defended Moscato's taste, saying, "I think Moscato gets a bad rap. Is it sweet – yes, but it's also quite refreshing, which makes it my undisputed go-to dessert wine in spring and summer time." Mattson wouldn't hesitate from serving a refreshing glass of sweet wine in fall and winter as well.