What Pairs Well with Moscato?

What Pairs Well with Moscato

Light and sweet, Moscato wine pairs well with a long list of main dishes, appetizers, and spices. Veggie trays and rolled meats make great grazing food, while spicy curry dishes and sticky BBQ ribs are entrees that won’t overwhelm the wine.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for opposite flavor profiles, so for a sweet wine, the ideal pairing might be spicy, savory, or salty. But pairing sweet wines with sweet pastries and other treats isn’t off-limits, especially if the two are about the same level of sweetness.

Which Foods Pair Well with Moscato?

Fruit and cheese are the go-to wine pairings, and if that’s all you have on hand, it’s hard to go wrong. But if you’re bored of the basics, substitute the fruit for:

  • bell pepper strips
  • baby carrots
  • celery.

Instead of cheese, try:

  • cocktail shrimp
  • crab poppers
  • sausage meatballs.

For main dishes, keep in mind that Moscato is a light wine, so think light when choosing the meal. Fish, lobster, chicken, and duck can be perfect, especially with the right spices. Moscato can even be paired with soup, but hearty beef stews are full-bodied red territory. 

Fruit tarts, biscotti, and anything light and creamy go beautifully with Moscato. There’s a lot of room and flexibility with dessert pairings so go nuts, literally. Try Moscato with nutty desserts like maple walnut ice cream.

Which Foods Do NOT Pair Well with Moscato?

Steak, meatloaf, and other beefy dishes generally don’t pair with Moscato. Even red Moscatos are sweet and light and not meant to pair with roast beef. Some people also advise against pairing Moscato with these foods:

  • chocolate
  • coffee-based desserts
  • acidic marinades.

These rules are less hard and fast, though, because white chocolate can certainly go well with some Moscato varieties. You might still be served better with a full red wine in those cases, however.

Some herbs and spices pair better with Moscato than others. But in general, there aren’t herbs you absolutely can’t use with it, assuming the herb doesn’t overpower the wine.

What Else to Serve with Moscato?

Moscato often complements exotic spices and herbs, many of which are likely in your kitchen already. Think about what dishes you normally use these ingredients in, and try pairing them with your favorite Moscato.

Spices to Pair With Moscato Wine

  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Saffron 
  • Fennel
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Cloves
  • Cilantro

You can also stray from the traditional white Moscato and serve a red Moscato instead. Red Moscato usually pairs well with much of the same foods but goes especially well with the tomato-based sauces of Italian food. When in doubt, try the wine with the dish you’re curious about because it might be the best pairing yet.

Summary

Moscato is highly versatile, and if it doesn’t go with your appetizer or main dish, it might still pair well with dessert. Both white Moscato and red Moscato tend to pair well with the same foods, like grilled fish, Italian pasta, and fruit tarts. On days where a juicy steak is the only food that appeals to your family, Moscato isn’t the best wine choice.