Today is Muscat day; hey, hey, hey! With a history stretching back millennia, the Muscat family of grapes is most likely the progenitor of all wine grapes. It has hundreds of clones, and the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder called it “uva apiana” (grape of the bees) due to its honey-like aromas.

These hundreds of varieties range in color from white to almost black, and produce wines ranging in style from white to red, dry to very sweet, and are often fortified. The best variety for producing great wine is “Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains” (White Muscat with little berries). We know this grape as Muscat Canelli.


I’ve grown tired and bored with my thirty years of red wine snobbery and elitism. There’s so much more to enjoy, and writing these reviews has opened my mind to how enjoyable sweet wines can be if they are well made. Thanks, Jason!

Our GCV 2014 Muscat Canelli is lovely, and like the ’14 Riesling shows near perfect balance. The color is pale yellow, with clarity like a light yellow diamond. The aroma is complex; with layers of butterscotch, apricot, honey, and a subtle undercurrent of citrus.

On our palate, the ’14 is a touch less sweet (2.3% residual sugar) than past vintages, and Kathy kept referring to its excellent balance creating a very “round” mouthfeel. This wine (to me) is all about the flavor of the grapes, accented by hints of honey and caramel.

To appreciate the delicacy of this wine, serving temp is important. Too cold the acid dominates the fruit, and too warm the sugar dominates the finish. I think about 45 degrees is just about perfect.

My sweet patootie was right on when she said it would be great with a not too sweet lemon cheesecake. I was reaching back to my youth and pairing it with a lemon cookie from Hung Fong’s on Broadway, across from Brackenridge park.

By the way, we like to call it Muskrat Canary. See ya soon…..

Written by our very own Jeff Binney.