Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin
When it comes to the world of sparkling wines, there’s an age-old rivalry that continues to captivate our palates: the elegant and effervescent Prosecco wine or the sweet and aromatic Moscato wine.
While both Moscato and Prosecco are exceptional wines, one still outperforms the other. I am usually torn between these sparkling white wines, so I made an overall comparison to determine the best one.
I know we’re in the same shoes (that’s why you’re here!), so I’m here to share my thoughts about the similarities and differences between Prosecco vs Moscato to help you decide which to drink next!
In-Depth Comparison of Prosecco & Moscato
Prosecco and Moscato are both wines produced and originated in Italy and are often lumped together due to their sparkling nature. However, they are distinct in many ways.
Moscato wines (or Moscato d’Asti) typically hail from the Asti region in Piedmont, Italy. It’s made from Moscato grape juice, imparting the delightful sweetness.
If you have a sweet tooth, Moscato d’asti is the best choice. It’s also a delicious dessert wine that matches well with desserts, citrus fruits, spicy dishes, and pastries.
“Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, and makes weariness forget his toil.” – Lord Byron, English Romantic Poet
On the other hand, Prosecco primarily comes from the Veneto region in northeastern Italy. It has a crisp acidity and refreshing character, with fruity notes and floral aromas.
This sparkling white wine is made from Prosecco grapes (or glera grapes). As for food pairings, Prosecco wines taste great with salad, light dishes, and seafood (particularly Brut Prosecco).
Prosecco vs Moscato Cheat Sheet
|Originating Region||Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, Northeastern Italy||Asti, Piedmont, Italy|
|Grape Variety||Glera grapes (Prosecco grape)||Muscat grape (Muscat Blanc or Moscato Bianco)|
|Flavor Profile||Crisp, fruity, floral||Sweet, fruity, aromatic|
|Sweetness||Varies (from dry to extra dry)||High|
|Occasions||Aperitifs, celebrations||Desserts, casual drinking|
|Acidity||Crisp and refreshing||Moderate|
|Aging Potential||Best when consumed fresh||Best when young|
|Food Pairing||Seafood, salads, light dishes, cured meats||Desserts, citrus fruit, spicy foods, pastries|
|Similar To||Champagne, Cava||Asti Spumante, Riesling|
|Price Range||Around $12 per bottle||Around $7 per bottle|
Key Differences Between Prosecco vs Moscato
Moscato wines usually have a lower alcohol content, usually hovering around 5-7% ABV (alcohol by volume). The lower alcohol content of Moscato d’Asti contributes to its light and easy-drinking nature.
Conversely, Prosecco  tends to have a slightly higher alcohol content, typically ranging from 11% to 12%.
This additional alcohol content makes it a more suitable choice for those looking for a more potent libation. But who makes Kirkland’s Prosecco?
Prosecco vs Moscato Base Ingredients
Moscato wine is crafted from Muscat grapes or Moscato Bianco, specifically Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. These grapes exude intense aromatics, contributing to the distinctive aroma of Moscato d’asti.
Meanwhile, Prosecco is primarily made from the Glera grape (formerly known as Prosecco), which imparts a crisp and clean flavor profile.
But in some cases, small amounts of other grape varieties are added, including Glera Lunga, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.
The sparkling Moscato boasts a sweet, fruity, and aromatic profile. Actually, this is a sweet wine. Expect to encounter notes of stone fruits, peach, apricot, orange blossom, and a hint of honeydew melon.
Overall, this sparkling wine gives a feeling of sipping on a bouquet of flowers.
Conversely, Prosecco leans towards the crisp side of the spectrum, with flavors that often include green apple, ripe pear, and floral notes. Its refreshing taste makes it an ideal aperitif.
Is Prosecco sweeter? Well, it’s not. So, if you find Prosecco a sweet wine, how much more if you taste Moscato d’Asti? Between Prosecco vs Moscato, the latter is sweeter.
Aroma & Color
The aroma of Moscato wines is intensely fragrant, with floral and fruity notes. Also, the color of Moscato can range from pale yellow to golden.
In contrast, Prosecco’s aroma tends to be more subtle, focusing on fresh fruit – green apples and citrus. As for the color, it’s typically a light, pale straw yellow.
A sparkling Moscato provides a light and slightly syrupy mouthfeel, complementing its sweetness. I like how Moscato d’asti coats the palate gently, leaving a lingering sweetness.
Conversely, Prosecco provides a crisper, effervescent mouthfeel with lively bubbles. It feels refreshing and invigorating. This is especially true in exceptional Prosecco wines, like Sommariva and Bisol Crede.
Prosecco vs Moscato Finish
The finish of Moscato is sweet and lingering, making it a delightful dessert wine or sipping wine, while Prosecco’s finish is clean and dry, with a refreshing zing that leaves you wanting more.
Sweet vs Dry
Moscato is usually sweet, often labeled as “sweet” or “semi-sweet.” So, if you’re after a sweeter wine, Moscato d’asti is a go-to choice.
Meanwhile, Prosecco wine varies in sweetness, with options from bone-dry (brut) to semi-sweet (extra dry). So, I find Prosecco a very versatile wine, catering to a wide range of palates.
How It’s Served
Both Prosecco and Moscato don’t need to be decanted. But I prefer serving Moscato wine at a temperature, ideally between 43°F to 46°F, in a Viognier glass or flute.
For me, it’s a must-have for warm summer evenings or a refreshing brunch. It’s an excellent palate cleanser before having dessert (especially right after eating any spicy food).
On the other hand, Prosecco is best enjoyed at temperatures between 43°F to 50°F. The effervescence of this white wine makes it an excellent choice for toasts and celebrations.
Regarding the sugar level of Prosecco vs Moscato, the latter tends to have higher residual sugar  content, contributing to its sweetness. The sugar content can range from 5-20 grams per liter.
Prosecco typically has a lower residual sugar content, especially in the brut style, with less than 12 grams per liter.
Moscato is best consumed while young and fresh. It’s not a wine  for long-term aging, so there’s no need for extended cellaring.
But if you really prefer aging it, storing it for a year and a half storage is recommended.
Prosecco also thrives when consumed young. There’s no advantage to aging it, as its charm lies in its youthful character.
But if you prefer storing it longer, store Prosecco DOC for 1-2 years and premium Prosecco wines for up to 7 years.
Price & Value
Between the price and value of Prosseco vs Moscato, the latter is often quite affordable, making it an accessible choice for wine lovers on a budget. You can find quality Moscato for a reasonable price.
“Sip the sweet symphony of Moscato or dance with the effervescence of Prosecco—the choice is yours.” – Liquor Laboratory
Prosecco typically falls into a moderate price range, offering excellent value for its quality. While it may be a bit pricier than Moscato, it’s still an affordable option.
(Sparkling wine, like Prosecco and Moscato, is affordable compared to Champagne since the latter undergoes secondary fermentation and is more intensive to produce, restricted to the Champagne region only.)
Can Moscato replace Prosecco?
Yes, Moscato can replace Prosecco in certain situations, particularly when you desire a sweeter, more aromatic wine.
However, keep in mind that Prosecco and Moscato have distinct flavor profiles, so the choice depends on your personal preference.
Is Moscato considered cheap wine?
Moscato is often perceived as a cheap wine for its affordability. However, it’s essential to remember that affordability doesn’t necessarily equate to poor quality.
Many high-quality Moscato wines offer exceptional value for money.
Which is better for Mimosa, Moscato or Prosecco?
Prosecco is better for Mimosa  if you prefer the traditional flavor. Its dry and crisp nature complements the citrusy flavors of Mandarin orange juice or Meyer lemon.
However, Moscato can be a delightful alternative if you prefer a sweeter Mimosa.
The verdict is apparent in the thrilling battle of Prosecco vs Moscato: it all comes down to personal taste and occasion.
Moscato is the best choice if you’re anything like me, seeking a sweet, aromatic experience with a touch of elegance. It’s also an affordable wine without sacrificing the quality.
But if you prefer a crisp, refreshing, and versatile sparkling wine, try Prosecco wine. Regardless of your choice, these two wines will elevate your drinking and dining experience. Cheers!