Moscato Vs. Rosé

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Moscato and Rosé are light to medium-bodied wines with long Italian histories. Rosé is an old-world wine competing against new-world wines. But it holds its own by having a decent amount of alcohol and complexity that white wines can’t achieve. Since Rosé is a category of wine, even Moscatos can be Rosé or pink.

What Is Similar About Moscato And Rosé?

It’s difficult to compare these two wines because Moscato is a reasonably specific wine among white wines. However, it does have some variations, and Rosé is an entire genre or category of wine. Comparing Moscato and Rosé is like comparing Moscato against all red wines; you can only make generalizations. That said, both Moscato and Rosé wines can be sweet, even honey-like, and pair well with desserts. Moscato can also be made as a Rosé, moving its flavor a little closer in similarity, and of course, the color would be essentially the same.

Rosé isn’t made from a specific grape, so the primary grape can be a white wine grape.

Rose wine in a wine glass in front of an ocean - Moscato vs. Riesling

What Is The Difference Between Moscato Vs. Rosé?

Old-world Rosé is typically quite dry, whereas Moscato is a sweet dessert wine. New world Rosé, like the wines made in California, are usually much sweeter. Moscato originally hails from Italy, and Rosé wine has been made worldwide for centuries. But the Italians have also been putting their spin on it for a long time.

Regular Moscato is white to golden in color, and unsurprisingly, Rosé wines are varying shades of pink. This color comes from incorporating the grape skins into the winemaking process, a step that’s never taken for Moscato unless it’s a Pink Moscato. The color can be adjusted in several ways, but the simplest method is to leave the grape skins in the juice for longer.

Rosé wine is likely a much older wine than white wine. Historians believe that the original wines were likely Rosé because they were simpler to make. Making white wines requires separating all the skins from the juice before fermentation.

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

On average, Moscato will be the sweeter wine if you’re choosing between Moscatos and Rosés from anywhere in the world. But if your selection is just Moscato and California Rosés, it’d be a much closer call to make. And, of course, Rosés from the old world are nearly guaranteed to be drier than a Moscato.

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Moscato is a low alcohol wine, sometimes having only 5 to 7 percent ABV. But Rosé is a vast category of wine with varying alcohol percentages. On average, Rosé wine has 12 percent ABV, which is considerably higher than Moscato wine. Rosé can even have up to 15 percent ABV.

How Do I Choose Between Moscato And Rosé?

Choosing between Moscato and Rosé is a little tricky, but if you need the extra alcohol, Rosé is your girl. If you’d like to take an old-world, dry wine for a spin, Rosé is still there for you. Why not try both if you’re indecisive by getting a Rosé Moscato?


Rosé has a little something for everyone unless that something is having a small amount of alcohol. Moscato is always a crowd favorite, being sweet, having a less alcoholic taste, and refreshing and fruity flavor. They’re both great wines that are worth a try, although since Rosé is a category of wine, “trying Rosé” definitely requires more than one bottle.