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The Difference Between Riesling & Moscato Wines

The Difference Between Riesling & Moscato Wines


The Riesling grape is a white wine grape variety, and Moscato is a sweet, fizzy white or Rosé wine grape variety. The wines from these grapes are usually very different in taste.

But, both of these wines are an excellent pick for a beginner and even for a casual drinker. Both of them are best introductory wines for a newbie. Both Riesling and Moscato are sweet wines that are light, easy and refreshing in feel and low on tannins and offer you great flavors. But how do they differ? The article will compare the two wines.

Riesling vs. Moscato

Moscato and Riesling are two different wines with a similar flavor profile. The main difference between these wines is their sweetness level. Moscato is sweeter than Riesling, but also less acidic. This means that Moscato is the better choice for those who want to drink a sweet wine without worrying about having an acidic aftertaste. Moscato wines also tend to be less expensive than Rieslings, which is why they’re sometimes called “the wine for everyone”.

Features of the two wines

1. Origin and Grapes

  • Riesling wine was originated from a small region called the Rhine in Germany. It is an ancient wine and can be traced in history back to the 15th century.
  • Its production expanded in the early 17th century. March 13 is celebrated as its birthday every year. In the mid 19th century, it became popular. Now it is enjoyed in many parts of the world.
  • The grape variety of this wine is green colored, has a round shape, and is moderate in size.
  • This variety expresses the terroir where it is grown because it gives different flavors when grown in other parts of the world.
  • You can find different styles from dry to off-dry, sparkling and, of course, sweet styles. The sweetness or dryness also depends on the kind of soil-grown.

  • Moscato has its origin in Italy and is now grown worldwide because of its ability to thrive in most climates. It is also an ancient wine, just like the Riesling, but when compared, it is way older than the other.
  • Its origin can be traced back to ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
  • It is made from Muscat grapes which is the parent grape of over 200 different types of the grape variety belonging to the Vitis Vinifera species.
  • Usually, Muscat Blanc is the most commonly used variety to make this wine. The oldest grape of this species is Moscato Bianco.

2. Taste and Flavors

  • Riesling wine has crisp tasting notes of apples, apricots, pears, peaches, pineapples and bright citrus fruits.
  • It offers high acidity levels, and this is the reason why it tastes less sweet even when the sugar residue is the same in Moscato.
  • You will find it to be highly aromatic with floral aromas.
  • It is most expressive in its monovarietal form. It has the ability to express its Terroir. Sometimes when aged for a long time, it gives a note of petrol.

  • Moscato wine has made from Muscat grape which gives it very fruity notes that can be felt in its aroma too.
  • It has notes of fruits like peach juice, orange blossom, and tropical fruits.
  • There is a slight fizziness in the wine and the flavors of nectarine that feels heaven to your palate.
  • It is a dessert wine too and can be enjoyed on any occasion and time. It cannot be aged for a long time and is best enjoyed young.

Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon – Comparison Table

This section is all about the differences between Riesling and Moscato wines. It is important to note that these wines are very different in terms of flavor.

Category Riesling Moscato
Appearance It is a white wine which has a color that is close to yellow. It also has hues of pale straw to deep canary color. Its most common version has a color that is slightly sparkling and hence called as “frizzante”.
Aroma It is moderately aromatic and has fruity smell of lemons, limestone fruits like nectarine, and if aged then petrol too. It is very aromatic and comes with fruity smell of orange blossoms, peach, and tropical fruits.
Sweetness It comes in a range of styles and mostly comes on the dry side. This wine falls on the sweet side and is perfect if you want a sweet wine specifically.
Alcohol It comes with comparatively high ABV of nearly 12%. It is a sweet and has a low ABV of 5-7%.
Ageing Potential Well comparatively it can age for a longer period then the Moscato wine. This wine does not age well, especially not the fizzy versions like Moscato d’Asti.
Food Pairings It goes well with fatty/greasy foods like ham, pork, and fried foods like poultry, fish, and vegetables as well. It goes well with spicy foods like Mexican food, Indian food, and Thai cuisine.


So, basically, both the wines offer you different style and in general a different experience and have an identity of their own. We have covered all the differences between them from the type of grape variety that is used in the making of both the wines to their origins and a lot more.

Talking about the flavors that they offer are also not the same. The Moscato gives you a sweeter experience to your taste buds and strong aromas and notes of peaches, honey, citrus and fruity. The aromas of Riesling is little soft comparatively and offers you flavors of apples and pears. Riesling is sold at many levels of sweetness, from dry to syrupy sweet ice-wine. Riesling has a very high sugar content, but it also has an enormous total acidity to balance it, but Moscato is a little sweeter in taste because of less acidity levels to balance out the sugar, and unlike the Riesling, it cannot last more than five years.

Also, explore the differences between Riesling and Chardonnay.

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