TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017 THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Prawns, oysters, cold ham and fresh salads are more likely to feature on the modern Australian Christmas table than a steaming hot turkey or roast pork. With temperatures often at their peak around the festive season, Aussies hanker for cold, fresh food and uncomplicate desserts as they gather with family and friends to celebrate Santa’s arrival.
This type of food begs to be paired with a cold, refreshing wine that packs a big flavour punch. And because it’s a celebration, something with a little fizz is the perfect offering. Moscato is a cooler climate, sweeter wine featuring peach, orange blossom, lychee and grapefruit flavours.
Normally made from Muscat Blanc or Pinot Blanc grapes, it can be either white or red, and still or lightly sparkling.
The Collective Wine Company has launched its Flamingo Moscato just in time for summer and Christmas. Unlike other moscatos, the Flamingo Moscato is made from the floral Frontignac grapes grown on the company’s Eden Valley vineyard.
‘‘Frontignac makes a very, very good moscato,’’ sales manager Scott Clarke says, adding that their lightly sparkling pink wine has a ‘‘nice acidic tartness’’.
‘‘The style that we produce it in is a little bit tarter, so it differs quite significantly from the very sugary sweet moscatos that are on the market.’’
Moscato is a lower alcohol wine, with the Flamingo Moscato having just 6.6 per cent alcohol, or half the content of other varieties. This makes it a ‘‘responsible’’ drink, Scott Clarke says, especially on Christmas day when many people tend to have that extra glass.
‘‘It’s a very seasonal drink and it does go well with the sort of food that Australians are eating around Christmas now.’’
‘‘We’re skewing more towards seafood and moving away from those big, hot roasts that suit the European Christmas but don’t really suit an Australian Christmas, not with our 40 degree temperatures.
‘‘To be able to have something out of the refrigerator that’s nice and cool and refreshing and goes with our prawns and our oysters or our hams, it’s a lovely treat.’’
In particular, Clarke says, the Flamingo Moscato pairs well with a simple dessert of fresh fruit salad and ice cream. But it can also be the base of a dessert in itself.
‘‘You can have a pink moscato float with a splash of creaming soda and a scoop of ice cream.’’
Clarke says drinkers can either pour a glass from a large bottle and raise a toast at the Christmas table, or laze by the pool with a small bottle and straw.
Appealing mostly to younger women, moscato is an ‘‘entry point for a lot of people into the wine category’’, says Clarke.
‘‘As young drinkers are progressing through their drinking life they get to a point where they want to try wine, but most white wines, red wines, chardonnays, pinot grigios don’t suit their palates because they’re used to ready-to-drink beverages or even soft drink,’’ he says. ‘
‘Moscato is that entry intobigger wine world through a sweet door.’’