Isn't it funny how things come into vogue.
Recently I have had a number of requests for Muscato wine. Now, historically Muscato was a cheap party wine, popular on college campuses and inner city barbeques.
Nowadays most of your trendy establishments carry some type of Muscato. Made from the Muscat varietal this wine comes in a host of shades but the most popular is blush or pink. I recently sampled a few different brands (way to sweet for me) and it got me thinking.
I remember when I was a little squirt my Nana would always have a glass or two of Cold Duck on the holidays. The original recipe for Cold Duck was combining the dregs of big reds with champagne. This happened in Germany around 1937, originally called Kaltes Ende or cold end it humorously evolved into Kates Ente or cold duck. It became popular again in the 70's with a blend of California reds and NY Sparklers. It might of went for as much as $2.00 a bottle.
Then Ernest and Julio Gallo jumped on the bandwagon with their immensely popular Pink Chablis. The Gallo brothers had a system. They produced cheap jug wine in bulk and marketed it to the masses. They also made classics like Mad Dog 20/20 .
Next came White Zinfendal, which is usually you guessed it, pink! Zinfendal grapes are usually a hearty red color but a process known as, saignee`, bleeds off the juice before the fermentation process and dilutes the color. This "stuck fermentation" process is formed by the yeast dying before all the sugar is fermented leaving a slightly sweet product. Zinfendal has fallen by the wayside and wine snobs wouldn't dare be caught with it. This leads us back to … Muscato.
What a fickle world we live in. I will never forget the words of the late, great, Anthony Spinazolla, "a good wine is one that you like."