Moscato Vs. Champagne

Moscato vs Champagne

Moscato and Champagne have many similarities. But Champagne is a legally protected term with strict requirements. Champagne is also guaranteed to taste different because it uses different grape varieties. In contrast Moscato uses Muscat grapes. It also undergoes a secondary fermentation, which changes the flavor. Both wines can be sweet and light, perfect for dessert.

Keep in mind that some wines in the United States are called Champagne because they were grandfathered into the legal naming requirements.

What Is Similar About Moscato And Champagne?

Champagne is a sparkling wine, and Moscato can come in a sparkling style. While both wines can be carbonated, Champagne is carbonated through secondary fermentation. In contrast, Moscato wine had its fermentation halted. Both Champagne and Moscato are often white wines, but they have blush or rose varieties. The wines are generally light-bodied and sweet with low alcohol content.

The rose varieties of both wines are made using the same methods. Sometimes the pink color comes from soaking a wine in the skin of a dark grape. But other times, it’s simply a blend of white wine and red wine. This second method is preferred because it gives the wine a more consistent color across batches.

What Is The Difference Between Moscato Vs. Champagne?

Champagne is an often legally protected term with strict requirements. A wine can only be called Champagne if the grapes are sourced from specific vineyards. Those grapes must be cared for and harvested using particular practices. There are also requirements on how it’s fermented. Even if a wine meets all these requirements but isn’t grown in France, it technically isn’t Champagne, just sparkling wine. 

Besides being made from Moscato grapes, Moscato has few requirements. It doesn’t undergo secondary fermentation like Champagne. Moscato can be still, semi-sparkling, and sparkling, but Champagne is always a sparkling wine. The Champagne region of France does produce still wines with the same grapes, but the resulting wine isn’t called Champagne.

In addition, the grapes used to make these wines are entirely different. Champagne is made using Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. Sometimes a small amount of Arbane and Petit Meslier is used as well. Moscato is made from Moscato grapes from the muscat family.

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

In general, Moscato is a sweeter wine, but only because Champagne can be anywhere from extremely dry to sweet. So while Moscato always leans toward being sweet, Champagne doesn’t have such limits. For especially dry Champagne, look for brut Champagne such as Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut or Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut.

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

On average, Moscato has the least alcohol, sometimes as little as 5 percent. Champagne averages around 12% to 13%, so it has quite a bit of alcohol compared to some wines. It’s possible to find heavy-hitting Moscatos and light Champagnes, though. If you have a preference, there’s probably a Champagne or Moscato for you somewhere. But if you’re just looking for a stronger wine in general, go with Champagne.

How Do I Choose Between Moscato And Champagne?

The best wine is an entirely personal preference. Real Champagne from France is one of the more expensive wines, so expect to spend at least $30 for Les Pionniers Vintage Champagne. California Champagne is usually more affordable, but Moscato is budget-friendly too. If you want a drier wine, definitely go for Champagne instead of Moscato.

Summary

Both Moscato and Champagne are great wines that we’ve enjoyed for centuries, but Moscato is generally sweeter and has less alcohol. Moscato also comes in a still variety, whereas that isn’t possible for Champagne unless we start getting creative with its definition. For celebrations, both sparkling wine and Champagne give that trademark “pop.”