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California White Muscat Types

[Vines And Wines]  [Red Table Wines]  [White Table Wines]  [Rose Table Wines]  [Sparkling Wines]  [Aperitif And Dessert Wines]  [Fruit Wines] 

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These wines are grouped separately on account of their Muscat character and because they are mostly too sweet for use as table wines, even if so classified, owing to their low alcohol content.

They are best suited to service as light dessert wines or in the afternoon or evening with cookies or cake. They should be chilled.

VARIETALS Malvasia Bianca (White Malvasia)

The grape is a muscat-flavored variety of the Malvasia vines which originated in Greece and are widely grown in Southern France, Italy, Spain, and Madeira, and to some extent in California.

Although generally better suited to the production of sweet dessert wines (see there), the Malvasia bianca grape can yield a sweet light wine of delicate bouquet and flavor, produced notably in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

The wine is variously labeled by its correct name of Malvasia Bianca and as California Malvasia without indication of color. They should not be confused with the red Malvasia wines of table and dessert type.

Muscat Canelli or Muscat Frontignan

A light and delicate sweet wine from this grape has at times been produced under the name of Moscato Amabile. The dessert wine is better known and then usually is labeled Muscat Frontignan.

Orange Muscat

A light sweet wine from the Orange Muscat variety, rich in muscat aroma and flavor.

GENERICS California Light Muscat

Any light wine of around iz per cent alcohol produced from white muscat grapes without indication of variety. They are often produced from the Muscat of Alexandria grape and both sweet and very sweet types are made. They are sometimes labeled simply "California Light Sweet Wine."

Moscato Amabile

A generic name for the light, sweet, and delicate wines produced from the Muscat Canelli or other white muscat grapes.

Dry Muscat or Moscato Secco

As the name indicates, this is a dry white wine from muscat grapes. It has a limited appeal as the wine is easily harsh and the muscat character, which needs sweetness to bring out the flavor, is not apparent. Some dry muscat, however, is quite palatable. It is sometimes marketed in rhine-wine type bottles.