During the 1980s, a new type of wine known as White Zinfandel caught the fancy of the American public, and helped transform millions of people into “wine drinkers.”
White Zin is a “blush” wine that’s quite sweet, and Americans have a very large collective sweet tooth. Many White Zin fanciers never moved on to other wines (which is perfectly fine), but a good many did, helping to fuel the “foodie” movement that continues to this day.
To paraphrase a term from the world of illicit drug enforcement, White Zin was a “gateway” wine.
White Zin continues to be very popular in America, but the “gateway” wine of the new millennium is Muscat and its various iterations (such as Moscato).
And what’s not to like? It has a seductive aroma that may remind you of white flowers and exotic “island” fruits. Like White Zin, it can be quite sweet. Some even think of the really sweet bottlings as “dessert in a glass.”
Chances are if you know someone in their mid- to late-twenties, they’ve probably tried a Muscat wine, and there’s a very good possibility that they like it a lot.
But there’s a great big, wonderful wine world out there, and perhaps the time has come for you to help your Muscat-loving friend discover something different… something more food friendly… something dry.
My recommendation would be to introduce them to the white wine star of Argentina: Torrontes.
The aroma will be familiar to a Muscat fancier: alluringly floral. Like Muscat, Torrontes is high in acidity, so it’s quite refreshing. But because a vast majority of vintners keep the fermentation going until all the sugars are burned off, Torrontes typically is a dry-style wine.
There’s a reason Torrontes mirrors Muscat in some ways: It’s a cross between a strain of California’s historic Mission grape and Muscat of Alexandria.
You can chill down Torrontes for a refreshing summer sipper, or serve it closer to room temperature with everything from fruit salad to shellfish, and from fried chicken to pork chops.
So if there’s a Muscat lover in your life, or even a White Zinfandel drinker, introduce them to Torrontes. You just may create a convert, opening the door to unlimited vinous possibilities.