Alsace 101: Muscat
April 30, 2018
Though it counts for only 3% of plantings in Alsace, Muscat is one of the region’s most historic and noble grapes. Here, it has two varieties: Muscat á Petis Grains, one of the world’s oldest grapes, and Muscat Ottonnel, a more modern variety with origins in the Loire Valley. The Muscat d’Alsace designation is allowed for both.
With the exception of Grand Crus, most Muscat wines are a blend of the two, as the Petis Grains offer aromas and acidity and the Ottonnel contributes body.
Muscat wines are among the most aromatic, with a mix of floral, freshly crushed grapes, as well as spice and herbaceous notes. The wines are fermented dry, are light-bodied and make ideal apertifs or companions to white cheese. They are also compatible with light spicy foods such as Asian cuisine with lemon grass, and spring-time dishes such as asparagus with hollandaise sauce (Alsace is famous for its white asparagus).