Bringing Us Together: 3 Moscato and Sue’s Birthday #MoscatoDay 2020


As Paul Mabray points out in his recent Medium article “Sauvignon Blanc Time Machine” these  “Wine Variety Days” like last week’s Sauvignon Blanc Day, April’s Malbec Day, and Saturday May 9th’s Moscato Day have been around for a number of years now, long enough to become institutionalized, written about, lionized, and shamed.

I’m not ashamed to say that I appreciate taking a moment to taste, pay attention to, and reflect on a particular grape and the wine made from it. I’m grateful for the samples that make it easier and an online community with which to share them.

But in the best events, it’s not just about the wine, but about the connection, Paul reminds us, and a connection that’s not just my lips to my glass kind of connection but to an experience. An experience with your family– family by blood, by marriage, by choice along with a connection to the “one wine world.”

As you can imagine, an important member of my chosen family is Sue Hill. We met in Girl Scouts when we were 12, and went on many backpacking, rock climbing, camping, and sailing adventures. Since we reconnected in 2012, we’ve been getting together one or more times a week to taste wine for over eight years, we’ve visited wine regions on press trips and attended many events and lunches together, and we traveled in France together for two weeks to compete on the US Wine Tasting Team. She’s a gifted chef, a thoughtful tasting companion, and a dedicated partner here at Wine Predator. I couldn’t do what I do without her.

Moscato Day falls on Sue’s birthday every year, and while it does help me to remember the day, it’s not her favorite variety by a long shot.

Moscato IS a favorite of our friend Myr.

When they talk about limiting who you gather, Myr, her husband Charles, and their daughter Bella are also my chosen family, just like Sue. Our kids are only a few months apart in age, in the same grade at school, and we have been camping together in our VW Westfalia vans since the kids were toddlers. During this period of Shelter in Place, the only teen that my son has seen is Bella: she and my husband and my son have been going mountain biking once or twice a week.

Myr and her family live just a few blocks from Sue and her family, and we all share similar interests in the outdoors so naturally, we have all gathered together regularly for years now, and for the past few months, Sue and Myr have walked together every morning in the reserve near their homes. Both are dedicated teachers struggling with the challenges of distance learning, missing the connections with students that makes teaching so meaningful, so worthwhile.

So as restrictions begin to ease, we three families met up at Myr’s last night to celebrate Sue’s birthday with these three moscato that Sue bought at Grocery Outlet.

Granted, there’s no birthday hugs. No shared glasses. Yes to plenty of space between us. Yes to toasts and birthday candles. Time to tell another story. This time through the lens of moscato.

And you still have time to pick up a bottle for Moscato Day on Saturday!

Dream No. 7 Moscato – California
9.5% alcohol; purchased $5 at Grocery Outlet 

Sight:  Very pale platinum white. Slight effervescence.

Sniff: An anise, herbal quality, honeysuckle, sweet nectar, sweet tart candy on the finish.

Palate: Citrus up front, pear asian pear, very crisp, sweet tart; I want this as a cocktail mixer!

Pairing: While we did not intend to pair this wine, John came late and said this wine was fantastic with the mushroom marsala which we are pairing with Beaujolais for the May #Winophiles. Great wine spritzer wine. Add a little club soda and turn it into a cocktail. It would also be a great.

2017 Warburn Estate “Rumours” Moscato, South Eastern Australia
5% alcohol, purchased $4 at Grocery Outlet 

Sight: Pale buttercup. Quite effervescent.

Sniff:  Grass and ocean air, anise

Palate: To Sue this tastes like the muscat grape to me. Grandma used to have muscat grapes growing in her yard, this wine tastes just like the grapes off the vine. The best thing about this wine is the fresh effervessence.

Pairing: Fabulous with our fresh berries over pound cake with whip cream.

Bosio – Provincia Di Pavia – Moscato – Italy
5% alcohol; purchased at Grocery Outlet $6

Sight: Clear without color, platinum. Very effervescent.

Smell: Night blooming jasmine.

Palate: This is a very sweet wine. The muscat grape comes through with its distinctive muskiness.  Sweet and bubbly but still bright and fresh.

Pairing: This is a fantastic wine to pair with the fresh berry dessert. The sweetness of the wine makes any tartness from the berries go away leaving you with a starburst candy kind of flavor in your mouth.

All three wines: So so good with our fresh berries on pound cake with whipped cream. One of Sue’s most favorite desserts with wines that pair so well with it.

When we attended the Moscato tasting seminar, we were told that Moscato was like 7Up to the Italians. Low in alcohol and refreshing, thirst quenching, great for cocktails and will do a lot less damage than tequila! Here’s a few more Moscato posts and pairings.

Two Moscato from Italy and a blueberry one from Indiana paired with cheeses:

From Idaho, we love Hat Ranch Winery’s dry version. 


So what will you be pouring and pairing on Saturday May 9?

Happy Moscato Day! Happy birthday to Sue! Cheers!




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