Thursday, June 21, 2012

Moscato climbs to new heights

Wine lovers take note—there’s a new “it” girl in town and she goes by the name moscato.
Moscato's are blowing up
on the scene! There's even
a rose version.
Moscato wine—sweet, fizzy and inexpensive—has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past two years. Overall moscato sales rose more than 70 percent in 2011 over the previous year, resulting in $300 million in sales (compared to $100 million in 2009).

“We need a new word for what’s happening to moscato,” said Mordy Herzog, partner/VP of Royal Wine Corp., in a February 2012 article, “Moscato Mosaic: Moscato Sales HaveSkyrocketed, Thanks to a Whole New Group of Wine Fans,”

Born from one of the oldest grapes in existence, moscato is most popular among new wine drinkers and is cherished by a more established fan base that enjoys a lighter-styled wine with brunch or dessert. It’s simply called “moscato,” unless it hails from Italy’s northwest region of Piedmont. It’s then referred to as moscato d’Asti, after the Italian town of the same name.
Caposaldo Moscato is the Official Sponsor of
D Roy Royalty Record Label.
What explains its rise in popularity? There are several theories, but most all wine experts agree that pop culture is fueling recent sales. Hip-hop artists such as Drake, Kanye West and Trey Songz all rap about the virtues of moscato, leaving triple digit champagne brands behind. In this economy, young consumers on a budget are more likely to spring for the $25 (or $15, $10, $8—it really is that cheap) bottle of moscato than the $300 bottle of Cristal.

Moscato has crossed over into
mainstream pop culture-now it's
a Halloween costume.
Major wine brands are jumping on board, eager to tap into this new demographic of wine drinkers, which the Trinchero Family Estates Senior Director of Marketing Wendy Nyberg describes as “urban, young, hip and online.” Wine giants Gallo, Yellowtail, Sutter Home and Jacob’s Creek have all launched varieties, available at a grocery store near you. New Orleans is listed as a top market for moscato, along with New York, Chicago, Detroit and Northern Virginia.

Looking for a place to sip a glass of this refreshing wine, perfect for a hot summer night such as this one? Many restaurants and bars have been adding moscato to their lists. Try a glass at one of these Louisiana Restaurant Association member restaurantsat: Clever Wine Bar or Bouche in New Orleans; Bin 77 or BLEND in Baton Rouge; or Marcello’s in Lafayette.

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