The Real Difference Between Roscato & Moscato

Roscato and Moscato are both wines known for their sweet taste. While Roscato is a red sparkling wine, Moscato is usually a white wine that pairs well with desserts or sweet breakfast foods. The main thing to know is that Moscato is a white wine made from the Muscat grape, while Roscato is a brand.

However, Moscato can also come in blush (pink) or red varieties. Moscato tends to contain more tropical flavors, and Roscato has hints of blackberry, vanilla, and chocolate tastes. Below is an overview of the differences between the two wines.

What Type of Wine Is Roscato?

Roscato is a sparkling red wine that is slightly sweet and contains around 7% alcohol. The wine comes from Lombardy, Italy.

Roscato is known for its intense red fruit flavors, including strawberries and raspberries. There are also hints of blackberries, plums, vanilla, and chocolate in the drink.

How to Serve Roscato

Most people like Roscato after it’s been chilled for a few hours or days. You can enjoy this wine with spicy foods and Italian or tomato-based dishes like spaghetti and lasagna.

You might also find Roscato goes well with fresh fruit and fine cheeses. The wine typically comes in a few different varieties, such as Rosso Dolce, Smooth, and Moscato.

Rosso Dolce has a lightly sweet taste and tends to carry a light fizz. The Smooth variety is where you’ll pick up hints of vanilla and chocolate flavors. Roscato Moscato has a balanced sweet taste.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try each of the varieties. Even casual wine drinkers have to experiment a little before they find a variety that suits them.

But if you’re worried about whether the Roscato will taste good with certain foods, it’s best to stick to Italian and spicy dishes. You can also throw in some cheeses like brie or soft cheddars.

Examples of spicy foods to try include some hummus flavors, sausages, and marinara-based dishes with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

What Type of Wine Is Moscato?

Most Moscato you’ll find is white and made from the Muscat Blanc grape variety. The wine also comes from Italy and features citrus and tropical flavors.

Those flavors are lemon, mandarin orange, orange blossom, pear, and honeysuckle. A lot of Moscato wine has a fizz or sparkling aspect to it. You’ll usually find either full sparkling or semi-sparkling versions. Most contain between 5% to 6% alcohol.

Even though Moscato originated in Italy, several other wine-producing countries have gotten into the business. Today you’ll see Moscato from Austria, Israel, Greece, France, and Australia.

Varieties of Moscato

Moscato also comes in five different versions, such as dessert wines, red and pink Moscato, still Moscato, and sparkling and semi-sparkling wines.

The sparkling and semi-sparkling versions are bubbly and have a stronger smell and flavor. If you have a pool or hot tub, you might enjoy a glass as you relax. Sparkling Moscato varieties can also make a good substitute for Champagne.

Still, versions of Moscato don’t have the bubbly and are dryer on the palate. But it’s not quite the same as drinking Chardonnay, which has a more bitter taste. You’ll keep enjoying the sweet aromas and tastes Moscato is known for.

Pink Moscato has a bit of Merlot added to it. If you’re familiar with Merlots, you know how rich they taste. However, just a drop of richness adds a new twist to Moscato’s sweetness.

Red Moscato comes from the Black Muscat grape. This variety tastes more like a mix of raspberries, black tea, and rose petals. Some U.S. winemakers produce Red Moscato, so it may be easier to find in stores that don’t carry a lot of imports.

Dessert Moscato has even more sweetness than the regular versions. Many dessert varieties come from Mediterranean countries. Think Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

How to Serve Moscato

Some of the foods you might try pairing Moscato with include pastries, cheesecakes, and fresh berries. Some people like to drink Moscato after dinner as a complete dessert.

But you can also enjoy Moscato at breakfast time with blueberry pancakes, an omelet, or a piece of avocado toast. Since the flavor is so sweet and light, Moscato is a good entry variety for people who are starting to explore wines.

Don't be afraid to try different types of Moscato with your light evening meals as well. You may find Moscato pairs well with a cranberry almond salad or crackers and cheese.

The Bottom Line

Roscato and Moscato are light wines you can enjoy as a treat or part of a meal. While Roscato is your go-to for Italian dinners and spicy dishes, Moscato will be your dessert’s new best friend. You'll probably also enjoy Moscato with breakfast and light dinner fare.

If you prefer red wines, you’ll probably lean more toward Roscato. However, some Moscato varieties also feature a touch of red or red grapes.

Whether you want a wine to go with your eggplant parmigiana or desire to try a new wine with your favorite cheesecake, if you like a sweet wine then Roscato and Moscato could both fit the bill. Happy exploring!