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Although sometimes described as table wines on account of their low alcoholic content, of around IZ per cent, they are on the sweet side and for that reason grouped separately. They are better suited to service with the dessert or in the afternoon or evening like regular dessert wines. They should be chilled.
These wines, produced from muscat or similar-type grapes, all possess the typical muscat aroma and flavor to a greater or lesser extent, their exact muscat character depending on the variety.
VARIETALS: Malvasia (Red Malvasia)
A light red, semi-sweet wine derived from the Black Malvoisie grape and produced in Santa Cruz County.
Malvasia usually means the red wines of this variety, whether of the light sweet or of the dessert type. There are also California white Malvasias, properly called by their full name of Malvasia Bianca.
Note: A dry light red table wine from the Black Malvoisie grape and called "California Malvoisie" was at one time produced in Alameda County.
The California Aleatico light wine is red, sweet, and spicy with the distinctive perfume and flavor of the grape by the same name. It is only rarely available as planting of the vine is very limited (see also Aleatico dessert wine).
Generic: California Light Red Muscat
Any light wine of around 12 per cent alcohol derived from dark muscat grapes without indication of variety. They are semi-sweet or sweet and sometimes labeled simply "California Light Sweet Red Wine."