Moscato Wines Surge in the Southwest Metro

Moscatos replace zinfandels.

Bellbottoms, parachute pants, skinny jeans—trends are universally true of all buying practices.

It’s funny how some trends are so similar to the ones that came before. In the 1970s, Sutter Home created the first white zinfandel, and its popularity spanned more than four decades. In the past two years, we’ve started seeing white zin sales on the decline. So what is the newest and latest craze? Even sweeter wines. Moscato grapes have taken over in not only white wines, but red and pink wines, too.

White zinfandel was created from red zinfandel grapes. To increase concentration in the wine, and to increase the impact of compounds in the skins on the remaining wine, winemakers used a specific technique to bleed off some of the grape juice before fermentation. The result was actually appeared white in color. In 1975, Sutter Home’s white zinfandel experienced a “stuck fermentation,” and the yeast died out before consuming all of the sugar. Some weeks later the winemaker tasted the rejected juice, and loved the end result of a fruity, sweet pink wine. The same is being done with red moscato grapes, also known as brachetto, which can produce almost effervescent light and fruity red and pink wines that will please any wine lover with a sweet tooth. —Tammy Wanchena, central buyer for Eden Prairie Liquor Operations