2020 Muscat Canelli + Peach & Ice Cream Pairing
Jeff’s Corner 6-25-21
Welcome, everyone, “and awaaay we go…”
Today we are going to take a fun look at our lovely new 2020 Muscat Canelli, which will be released this weekend at our 290 location (The Mother Ship,) and will be followed close behind on Main Street and in Georgetown. Next week, I’m excited to write about our 2020 Pinot Grigio which won Best of Show at the Monterey International Wine Competition.
With a history stretching back millennia, the Muscat family is quite possibly the progenitor of all vitas vinifera grapes. Although there are over 200 varieties in the Muscat family, Muscat Canelli is the best for producing quality wine. Its classic name is Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains, which translates as “White Muscat with little berries.”
Muscat Canelli, however, has suffered a bit of an identity crisis (and somewhat tarnished reputation) due to the incredible surge in popularity of Moscato, a very sweet, low alcohol, fizzy wine made from this classic grape. Moscato is the ultimate training-wheel wine, and I have no doubt it would have been one of my favorites in my diaper years of wine drinking if I hadn’t been so enamored with Blue Nun.
A translucent, pale straw in hue, our 2020 Texas Muscat Canelli is a reasonable 11.5% ABV with an off-dry residual sugar of 2.7%, which is equal to 27 grams of sugar per liter of wine. This breaks down to about 5 grams in a 6 ounce glass of wine. Now, if this seems sweet, let’s note that 6 ounces of Coca Cola has about 17.5 grams of sugar.
Pronounced aromas of lemon drop, tangerine, and mango are enhanced by subtle layers of honeysuckle, rosewater, wild honey, and caramel. The palate features a rich, luxurious mouthfeel with a bright, lively finish. Sugar and acid are perfectly balanced, and the wine literally glides across our palate with a rich, luxurious texture. We should serve this about 45*.
Several years ago, I was sitting at my desk writing about our latest Muscat and trying to enjoy a small bowl of vanilla ice cream. My pesky little cat, Rio Frio, had other ideas, however, and thought it was for her. She wouldn’t keep her kitty nose out of it, and finally I’d had enough, but knew that if I tossed her out in the hall and closed the door things would only get worse.
Kath and I spend a lot of time trying to be smarter than Rio, so I thought “this will show her” and poured some Muscat over the ice cream. It did the trick, she took off, and I had no choice but to try the Muscat-laced ice cream.
Oh my gosh, it was one of the best wine desserts I had ever tasted. My friend and colleague, Jim Overman, had the idea of adding fresh sliced Hill Country peaches and it went from sublime to ethereal.
As most of you know, interspersed along Hwy 290 between the many Hill Country wineries are peach orchards that have been owned by the same families for generations. I did some research and found the Hill Country Fruit Council website. Check it out here. It’s full of great info, including maps, ripening dates, recipes, and a buying guide.
See ya next week…