It’s one of the hottest white wines in America, loved by rappers and popular among millennials, but you probably have never had a glass of Long Island moscato.
This sweet, Italian variety is seldom planted in the region and rarely used to make varietal wines.
That’s why Pindar Vineyards’ 2013 moscato, released right around Thanksgiving 2014, is our “wine of the week.” The only other North Fork moscato-producing vineyard that we can think of is Laurel Lake Vineyards, which makes a sparkling version (if we are wrong, feel free to tell us in the comment section.)
A good way to break in novice wine drinkers, moscato is soft with a great acidity and usually inexpensive, noted Wall Street Journal wine columnist Lettie Teague.
“That’s one of the reasons entry level drinkers have been attracted to them,” she said in this video. She also said it makes a great pair with wedding cake.
The Pindar staff decided to release a wine made with 100 percent moscato grapes — which were previously only used in its white blends — after tasting room customers repeatedly inquired about it.
“They’re always asking for it,” Pindar assistant winemaker Ed Lovaas said of tasting room visitors. “It’s the hottest white wine in the world.”
The pale yellow wine, fermented in stainless steel, is semi-dry with an aromatic, floral nose. It has a full, fruity taste with peach and orange flavors, and although pretty sweet, it’s probably less so than the varieties you would find from other wine-growing regions.
“We make sure it’s acidic enough,” Lovaas said. “What we’re trying to do is make it refreshing.”
Pindar produced about 800 cases in 2014 and it’s available in the tasting room for $14.99.
Moscato is one of the grapes that doesn’t always hold the most caché with wine snobs, but hey, it’s good enough for Lil’ Kim and Nelly, so drink up (although wine critics seem to universally pan Drake’s choice of pairing it with lobster.)