Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

WINE: Orange Muscat

Orange muscat is a unique variety of muscat grape. Orange muscat generally appears as a dessert wine and is grown in California and Australia. The most well-known orange muscat comes from Quady Vineyards in the Santa Barbara area of California.

The orange muscat grape originated in Italy, according to Andrew Quady, but other sources have it coming from France. True to its name, wine made from this grape has an aroma of orange blossom and apricot. The orange muscat grape has never been a popular wine grape. Perhaps because of the sunny conditions it requires, and some say it was scorned by vintners and serious oenophiles.

Quady has been responsible for bringing back the grape, and more California wineries have followed suit, including Bonny Doon's Muscat Vin de Glaciere. Quady's wine was award-winning from the start.

Not only does the wine have aromas of orange, but it is orange in color, and has a perfumy orange blossom tinge in the flavor.


Having read about and been intrigued by this wine, I looked for it when I happened to find myself in a wine store recently. (Now how ever did THAT happen?) They did not have Quady, but they did have this Robert Hall Margaret's Vineyard Orange Muscat.

The Robert Hall winery has only been around for just over ten years. In 1995, Mr. Hall retired and moved with his wife, Margaret to Paso Robles to live out his dream of having his own winery, first acquiring one ranch, and then two others on which to grow his grapes. Margaret also got her own vineyard on which she chose to grow Orange Muscat grapes. Her light-style wine is award-winning and features a label designed by herself. Robert Hall Winery grows almost all of their own grapes. Mr. Hall plants wildflowers to encourage beneficial insects and advocates sustainable practices.

I do not have anything to compare this to, as it was my first example of orange muscat, but I really liked this wine as a dessert wine. It wasn't as cloying and "juicy" as some dessert wines I have had. It's sweetness was lighter and the orange blossom gave it a perfume that made the flavor very interesting.

I would recommend giving this a try if you have any interest in dessert wines. It's very different ... in a very good way.

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3 comments:

'Cloying'.... is that a great word or what.

little- off subject hijack:

I think it is time to get a new orange betta....name him Quady and give him a nice chinese evergreen to absorb waste.

There is a betta at one of the teller windows where I bank. I like to set my Nemo key holder next to his bowl and watch the little guy flip out in a territorial frenzy:)

back to food:
When do we get to hear about coffee?

said by Sooslo at 11:15 PM Delete

An orange betta would be fantastic ... those aren't easy to find, though and they cost a little more than the $3 I spent on Clancy. That's funny about the keychain ... Clancy had a mirror and he would attack himself. ;)

Coffee is coming very soon ... I have two things I have to talk about ahead of it, and then coffee.

said by KT at 8:30 AM Delete

Great endorsement for orange muscat, a fabulously delicate and soft dessert varietal. I would note, however, that Bonny Doon's "Vin de Glaciere,"(the French equivilant of ice wine) is made primarilly of muscat canneli, though it does contain small amounts of orange & other muscats.

said by nourishing nibbles at 6:11 PM Delete

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