Due to our human condition, eating is an undisputable necessity, a possible pleasure, a subject of sciences (plural), and a topic of reflection. Rising above our basic mammalian status, the Escoffiers and the like succeeded in making eating a pleasure. However, not much has changed since the Stone Age when we knocked out aurochs with bludgeons, dug for roots with a flint, collected grains in the tundra and picked wild apples. As you may recall, the latter eventually generated a serious issue when Adam and Eve were ordered to promptly evacuate Paradise for this misconduct.
Demand for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay remains high, but Moscato is currently one of the fastest-growing wine varietals in the U.S. Also known as Muscat or Muscatel, Moscato wines tend to be sweeter and less alcoholic. Gallo, which holds 44 per cent of Moscato’s market share, saw sales of its own Gallo Family Vineyard Moscato increase by 124 per cent in 2010, according to marketing research firm IRI.
What is driving sales? More than half of all Moscato consumers are under the age of 45, while nearly one-third are between the ages of 25 and 34, according to Nielsen Homescan Panel. Some of Moscato’s popularity with the younger generation could, perhaps, be due to hip hop influences. Kanye West claimed on MTV that he liked Moscato, while Lil’ Kim sang “Still over in Brazil/Sipping Moscato.” A more likely reason, however, is the low price tag that many Moscatos enjoy. We’ve seen a number of them on our recent lists of Top 10 Value Wines and Top 10 Wines under $10. These include the Gallo-produced Mirassou 2010 California Moscato ($12), Caposaldo Moscato IGT ($10) and Martin & Weyrich 2007 Moscato Allegro ($10).