With Moscato becoming a more popular choice of drink among wine connoisseurs and foodies alike, you’re likely to wonder how long does this vino last, opened and unopened.
Some wines do well with long periods of aging while others should be consumed once purchased. Which category does Moscato wine fall under?
Famous for its sweet flavors, floral aromas, and low alcohol content, the Moscato wine comes in a variety of styles too.
By knowing what type of Moscato wine you have, you’ll be able to determine how long it can stay unopened before losing its quality. And, storing an opened Moscato bottle correctly means you can enjoy it for a few days more.
Let’s explore this unique wine and find out what makes it loved by wine drinkers worldwide. We’ll also talk about how to store the bottles when unopened so you can keep them for longer periods.
And, we’ll give you tips on how to preserve it once opened, so you can still enjoy a glass the next day or two.
What You Need to Know About Moscato Wine
If you’re a newbie to Moscato wine, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about! Made from one of the oldest wine grapes ever used to make this alcoholic drink, Moscato is loved for its sweet, fruity flavors and aromas resembling orange blossoms, mandarins, and peaches.
These Muscat grapes are ancient, having been grown for thousands of years in Italian vineyards before being introduced to other wine-producing regions around the world.
With over 200 different types of varietals, the muscat grape is versatile and can grow successfully in a range of climates.
Wine producing countries such as Australia, Spain, Austria, and France are making Moscato wines using this grape which is also used for raisin production.
How Long Does Moscato Last?
A good bottle of Moscato wine should last you anything between three to five years depending on how it has been stored.
Once opened, Moscato wine can still be enjoyed a couple of days afterwards if you’re storing it correctly.
An opened bottle of Moscato can even last for as long as a week if you follow the storage tips mentioned in this article.
Preserving both your unopened and opened Moscato bottles also depends on the style of wine you’re drinking.
Moscato Wine Styles
Moscato wine is a sweeter drink, with an alcoholic content of 5 to 6% which is lower than most other wines. The acidity content of this wine is also lower than many other wine types.
Moscato wine styles include both sparking and semi-sparkling as well as still wines. Pink Moscato is available as well as a rarer red variety.
One of its most popular styles is the Italian Moscato di Asti, a light, semi-sparkling wine. The delightful aromas of this wine makes you think of a mixture of honeysuckle, orange blossoms, mandarin, and pears.
Another popular style made with the muscat grape is the Moscato Asti Spumante, a bright, sparkling wine that is also full of aromas, the right balance of sweetness, and bubbles.
Still-type Moscato wines are available from wine regions such as Austria and Spain. The Austrian Musketellar is a dry still wine offering hints of sweetness when its aromas hit your palate. The Spanish Moscatel is also dry with hints of sweet and fruity aromas.
Pink Moscato, while primarily made with muscat grapes, includes a dash of Merlot wine to give it its strawberry color. This wine style has become a popular drink in the United States for many partygoers, celebrities, and socialites.
The rarer Red Moscato, which is also occasionally referred to as the Black Moscato, is made with fermented black muscat grapes. This varietal type is a cross between the Italian red Schiava grape and Muscat of Alexandria grapes.
The aromas are also sweet, exuding hints of violets, roses, and raspberry.
If you enjoy dessert wines, then you’ll love the Moscato types. These wines are ultra-sweet and made with different varietals depending on the region they’re produced in.
Portuguese wine producers use the Moscatel Roxo grape to produced a concentrated sweet dessert wine while Spanish vineyards use the Moscatel Sherry with its hints of caramel flavors.
How to Store Moscato Before Opening?
To ensure your Moscato wines last up to five years and sometimes even longer, wine connoisseurs recommend the following storage tips to preserve your Moscato wine once purchased.
Store in a Cool and Dark Environment
The right temperature and lighting are essential for keeping your Moscato quality at its best for drinking once opened. Because of its lower alcoholic content, experts highly recommend you store unopened Moscato wine bottles at no higher or than 55⁰F.
It’s also advisable to not go below this temperature range and to avoid any fluctuations to preserve the quality of this wine type.
The right lighting is also essential for maintaining most wines and the same applies to your Moscato wines. No wine should be exposed to direct sunlight as the UV rays will only hasten the decline of your wines.
Moscato wines should be kept in a dark environment such as your basement, wine cellar, or a cupboard that is cool as well.
Lay the Bottles Horizontally
Moscato wines that are bottled with corks should be laid horizontally. This will prevent the corks from drying out which results in wine aging too prematurely and declining in quality.
Consider installing racks in your wine cellar or basement so that you may store your Moscato wines on their side.
If the Moscato wine is bottled with a screw-cap top you can store the bottle standing upright.
Avoid Exposure to Vibrations
One of the dangers of storing Moscato wines in the refrigerator is exposing the drink to vibrations. Vibrations disturb the sediments found in the wine which serves to help the drink age properly.
And, if you’re storing the sparkling or semi-sparkling wines, vibrations will also impact the fizziness of the wine.
Other causes of vibrations could include your washing machine, tumble dryer, and exercising equipment. Make sure these items are kept well away from your wine storage area.
Check the Humidity Levels
If the humidity levels in your wine storage space is over 60 to 68 percent, then consider installing a dehumidifier. Low humidity levels cause the corks to dry out leading to a liquid loss in the bottles.
This will ultimately destroy the quality of your Moscato wines. High humidity levels, especially over 70%, will cause the labels to deteriorate and for mold to set in.
It’s essential to always check the humidity levels when storing any wines and to keep them at a healthy level to prevent your vino from degrading.
A wine cooler is a good investment if you’re wanting to store large quantities of wines at a steady humidity level.
How to Store Moscato After Opening?
An opened bottle of Moscato wine can still be enjoyed three to five days after being opened as long as you store it properly. The first step to maintaining the quality of your opened Moscato is to cork or cap it as soon as you’ve finished pouring the wine.
Always re-cork properly by placing the “wet” side of the cork back into the bottle. While it may seem easier to turn the cork around and place the drier side in, you could be tainting the wine.
Store Opened Moscato in the Refrigerator
Once opened, Moscato wine can be stored in the refrigerator for anything between five days to a week. The fridge’s cold temperature immediately slows down the degradation process of the wine, preserving its quality for a few days more.
If possible, always place the opened (and re-corked) Moscato wine bottle directly into the refrigerator once you’ve poured into glasses. Keeping the bottle on the table or countertop allows the wine to decline in quality even in the first hours of being opened.
If the cork broke while you were opening your bottle of Moscato, then use a rubber cork stopper to seal it. This is a useful tool to have for any wine and allows your wine to last a few days longer.
These wine stoppers are designed to give a tight seal, preventing any air from getting into the bottle. The stopper will also prevent seepage of food odors from the refrigerator into the wine.
Invest in a Wine Vacuum Pump
Wine connoisseurs continue to debate the advantages and disadvantages of the wine vacuum pump but this is another tool that could keep your opened wine lasting a few days longer.
The purpose of this appliance is to remove any air that is inside the bottle once it has been opened. This creates a tight seal once you re-cork or place a rubber stopper on the bottle.
Does Moscato Go Bad?
Moscato, like any other wine, can go bad if it’s not stored properly, the cork deteriorates, or it’s kept beyond its expiry date.
Wine continues to age when unopened and some wines are suited to longer aging periods than others. Moscato wines should ideally be drunk after five years for optimal enjoyment and quality.
How can you tell if your Moscato wine has gone bad? Look out for the following signs:
- Color: Change in color which often looks murky, light brown, or yellow if a white wine.
- Aroma: Instead of its typical fruity aroma, bad Moscato has an off-smell when you open the bottle. This could be similar to a “wet dog” or mold and damp smell.
- Taste: It has a bitter or acrid taste. Some drinkers will tell you that bad wine tastes like vinegar!
Moscato wine that is exposed to constant heat, light, and vibrations will go bad faster than those wines stored in the correct environment.
Will Unopened Moscato Go Bad in the Refrigerator?
It’s tempting to store unopened wine, including Moscato, in the refrigerator especially if you want to always have a cold bottle available in the eventuality of an unexpected guest dropping in!
However, storing unopened Moscato in the fridge for longer than an hour or two is not a good idea.
While your unopened Moscato may not go bad or off when stored in the refrigerator, its flavors, textures, and aromas will be altered.
This is as a result of exposure to light every time the door is opened, vibrations caused by the fridge’s motor, and constant exposure to cold temperatures.
Another risk associated with storing wines in a fridge is having the cork pop out slightly. Not only does this allow air to escape from the bottle, but it also means food odors can get into the wine.
And, too often the wine bottle is stored vertically in the refrigerator door, rather than being laid on its side which is preferred for corked Moscato wines.
How to Serve Moscato Wine?
What is the ideal serving temperature for Moscato wine? To benefit from the full flavors and aromas unique to this wine, you want to ensure you serve it at the right temperature.
Sparkling and semi-sparkling Moscato wines are best poured at temperatures of 40⁰F after being in the refrigerator for up to four hours.
Still, wines are ideally served at slightly lower temperatures than red wines ranging between 43⁰F and 55⁰F. If you’re fortunate to have a red Moscato in your wine cellar, serve it chilled at no more than 65⁰F.
The optimum serving temperature for reds should be around 58⁰F, just below room temperature.
Moscato pairs well with many foods such as:
- Fish, seafood, pork dishes, chicken, and duck.
- Sheep and cow cheese preferably the medium to hard varieties.
- Celery, carrots, onions, and bell peppers.
- Oranges, peaches, mandarins, strawberries, and mango.
If you’re a lover of spices and herbs then a glass of Moscato wine can be enjoyed with foods flavored with cinnamon, basil, cardamon, chili, mint, and cilantro.
What to Do With Leftover Moscato Wine?
Besides drinking leftover Moscato wine over a couple of days, you can also use this wine in other ways. Use it as a base for different cocktails or add it to stews or for marinating pork chops or steaks.
Make a punch and enjoy on a hot summer’s day or keep leftover Moscato wine to remove other wine stains found on your table cloth or favorite shirt.
If you find yourself battling to finish a full bottle of Moscato at one sitting then consider buying in half-bottle sizes. This will save you from having to find ways to use up leftover Moscato or worse, throwing it down the sink.
To answer your question about how long does Moscato last depends on several factors such as the style, the way it’s been stored, and how old it is when purchased.
Unopened Moscato wine, when correctly stored, will last for up to five years while an opened bottle can still be consumed five days later.
To ensure you enjoy every glass of Moscato wine, follow the storage tips recommended in this article.
This way, you can keep a few bottles of your favorite Moscato knowing it’ll be delicious when opened and served.