This little grape is the black sheep of the Muscat family. Rejected by serious vinters, shunned by elitist oenophiles, this sweet little fruit stood against a wall at the school dance, lonely and sad. Until, that is, a daring winemaker from California saw the potential of this neglected darling and decided to see what she could do. Since then, the orange muscat has seen a resurgence in popularity as more and more wineries realize what this great grape is capable of.

Very little is known about the origins of the Orange Muscat. What little information there is indicates that it at one time enjoyed popularity in France, eventually made its way to the New World, Australia, and Italy, then fell out of favor in all locations. In the early 80's, experimental vinter Andrew Quady crafted a dessert wine purely from Orage Muscat. It was a hit, garnering both numerous awards for Quady and attention of other risk-taking vinters looking for something to shake up the wine world with. Since then, the grape has gained a small but growing following in not only California, but France, Italy, and Australia as well.

Nearly all of the wines made with Orange Muscat fall into the dessert wine category, which is just what this grape is best for. The grape is so named because the wines produced with it exhibit a lush orange color, not to mention a distinct tincture of orage blossom in the flavoring. This is in addition to the other typical muscat flavor properties such as ginger, honey, and peach. They are best served as apertifs, the perfect accompaniment to dessert, or as the dessert itself.

Wines

  • Currently, I either haven't had a chance to try these, or it's been so long I couldn't write an accurate analysis. They're on my list, and after sampling them (or sampling them again), they will be noded.
  • Woodward Canyon Winery Columbia Valley Orange Muscat
  • Quady Electra Orange Muscat
  • Quady Essensia Orange Muscat
  • Bonny Doon Vineyards Muscat Vin De Glaciere

Aliases

Moscato Fior d'Arancio, Muscat fleurs d'oranger


Sources

  • http://eat.epicurious.com/
  • http://www.aboutwines.com/
  • http://www.cookeryonline.com/
  • http://www.winespectator.com/
  • http://www.quadywinery.com/

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