Chardonnay vs Moscato: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know?

Chardonnay vs Moscato
This is our comparison of Chardonnay vs Moscato. Do you know what are the 8 important differences to know? Let's find out!

This is our comparison of Chardonnay vs Moscato. We’ve extensively researched these two popular sparkling wine styles to help you pick the best for you.

Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines in the world. In its unoaked version it’s light and crisp and pair very well with a variety of fish including Sushi.

In its oaked version, Chardonnay has more complexity, a different structure, and pairs well with bolder flavors like grilled and smoked dishes.

Moscato is instead a sweet light bubbly sweet wine with typical notes of ripe pear, lemon and honeysuckle.

Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

Our recommendation for Best Value Moscato d’Asti is Castello del Poggio Moscato d’Asti and for Best Overall is Ruffino Moscato d’Asti.

You’ll find below other recommendations for you. 

Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Chardonnay vs Moscato wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Chardonnay Selection

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier
2020
4.1/5

This delicious Chardonnay offers and incredible value for money.

Here is an extract from Vivino Editor’s note: “Inspired By France’s Best, Napa’s Pine Ridge Packs an Almost Impossible Amount of Deliciousness Into a Sub-$13 Package with This 4.1 ★ 2020 Napa White!”

What are you still waiting for???🤩

Régnard Grand
Régnard Chablis
2019
4.4/5

There are many great wines around, but this one offers an incredible price-quality ratio! I’d be quick if I were you…

Bright, pale-straw accented with green reflections.

On the nose it is elegant and fresh with notes of green apples, lemon and apricot, it has a notable intense aroma.

On the palate it is rich, rounded and mellow.

There are ample ripe lemony fruit and white peach flavors.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 'Morgeot' Blanc 2018
4/5

We love this one and we are not the only one! This an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note:

“The Morgeot premier cru sits on the border between Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire regions—a Roman-era plot that sits atop a bed of chalk and limestone soils.

It’s a coveted piece of real estate, with neighbors like Louis Latour and Louis Jadot.

We think this Morgeot is the cream of the crop.”

Moscato Selection

Barefoot
Moscato
3.8/5

It is clean and delicate on the nose. This wonderful sparkler is full-bodied and toasty on the palate.

Creamy and elegant, with a touch of vanilla and hazelnut on the finish.

Castello del Poggio Moscato d'Asti
4.3/5

Straw-yellow with golden reflections and a delicate mousse.

Intense and very inviting, with delicate scents of underbrush, musk and peaches.

Sweet but not at all cloying; well-balanced and with an extremely refined fruitiness.

Ruffino Moscato
d'Asti
4.2/5

This is probably one of the best Moscato d’Asti you can find at this price.

It’s light, refreshing, mildly sparkling, very easy to drink.

The key notes you’ll recognize are apple, pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of vanilla.

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Chardonnay vs Moscato so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: Where are they produced?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato from regions and wine styles points of view.

Chardonnay’s an extremely versatile grape that grows worldwide in different climates and soil. Chardonnay does best in clay, limestone, and chalky soil. 

The climate affects the tasting profile of the wine in the following ways:

In cool climates, Chardonnay tends to be mineral with citrus flavor, high acidity, and medium body. 

Regional areas examples: France (Champagne, Burgundy), Northern Italy, US (Sonoma Coast), New Zealand.

In warm climates, Chardonnay tends to have tropical and stone fruit ripe flavor, lower acidity, and full body. 

Like Sauvignon Blanc, if the over-ripening is not properly controlled it will considerably reduce aromas and acidity. 

Regional areas examples:  Southern Italy, South Australia, and South Africa.

Read this article do find more about Chardonnay.

Moscato, in its most famous dessert wine style, i.e. Moscato d’Asti DOCG, is primarily produced in the northern-west part of Italy in the Piemonte region.

Other styles of Moscato, like dry and fortified wine are produced in other part of Italy and California.

Read this article do find more about Moscato.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato from a grape point of view.

Chardonnay is made with Chardonnay grapes.

For Moscato, Moscato Bianco or Muscat Blanc are the grapes used.

Both are is a white-wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview Chardonnay vs Moscato from an alcohol content point of view.

Alcohol content or more precisely Alcohol By Volume, i.e. ABV, measures the alcoholic strength of a drink.

There is a direct relationship between the sugar left in the wine after the alcoholic fermentation has taken place, i.e. Residual Sugar or RS, and ABV.

During the alcoholic fermentation, the yeast transforms the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol.

Grapes with high residual sugar will therefore produce dry wine with a high ABV.

Chardonnay’s ABV ranges between 10.5% to 14.5% depending on the style, whereas Moscato’s ABV is usually 5%.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: What's their taste profile?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato from a taste profile point of view.

Chardonnay is a dry to off-dry wine with a pale lemon to deep gold color. Depending on the style it can be light, fresh, and crisp if unoaked or rich, buttery and full-bodied if oaked.

Typical flavors for unoaked Chardonnay are lemon zest, peach, honeysuckle, and green fruit or tropical fruit depending on the ripeness.

These wines tend to have medium-high acidity and a medium-full body.

Typical flavors for oaked Chardonnay are butter, vanilla, spice, apple, chalk, and citrus fruit for cool climates or tropical fruit for warm climates.

The wines tend to have medium-low acidity and a medium-full body.

Moscato in its dessert style, is sweet with notes of ripe pear, lemon and honeysuckle. 

Expect medium-low acidity, light-body, light bubbles (2.5 bar), and an ABV of 5.5%.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.

The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage.

10 g/L equals 1% which, if you are interested, represents 6 calories per 5 oz serving. 

You can find Chardonnay primarily in dry to off-dry sweetness levels.

A dry wine has less than 15 g/l and and off-dry wine has between 15-30 g/l.

Moscato, on the other side can be found in both dry and sweet version. The most popular style is the dessert wine which has more than 50+ g/l.

A dry Moscato will have less than 15 g/l.

Read this article to know more about wine sweetness level.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: Which are the recommended food pairings?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato from a food pairings point of view.

Chardonnay pairings depend on the style. 

Unoaked Chardonnay goes well with salad, veggie risotto, paté, chicken, shellfish, sushi. Cheese wise go with fresh cheese like goat cheese.

Oaked Chardonnay can be paired with bolder flavors like prosciutto crudo, pumpkin, pork, grilled meat, roast chicken, grilled fish smoked salmon, and crab cakes. 

Cheese wise go for cream to triple cream cheese like Brie or Brillat-Savarin. 

Moscato is less versatile than Chardonnay, still, you can pair it with various dishes, including desserts.
 
Classical pairings for Moscato are Asian spicy dishes, clams, oyster, Cheddar, and Parmigiano cheese to name some.
 
Dessert wise go for fruit tart except for orange, sponge cake, Panettone, Pandoro, and dried fruit.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: How should you serve and store them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato in terms of serving and storing the wine.

Chardonnay shouldn’t be decanted. The service temperature and the storing period depend on the style.

For Unoaked Chardonnay serve at  45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. [1] The recommended storing period is 2-3 years for normal bottles.

For Oaked Chardonnay serve at  50 – 55 °F (10 – 13 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. The recommended storing period is 5-7 years for normal bottles.

Moscato doesn’t need to be decanted. Serve it at 43 – 46 °F (6 – 8 °C) in a flûte or Viognier glass. 

The recommended storage period is up to 1.5 years.

Chardonnay vs Moscato: How much do they cost?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Chardonnay vs Moscato from a price comparison point of view.

Let’s start by saying that both wines are affordable.

Chardonnay‘s price range is on average between $10-$50. You’ll find more expensive Chardonnay over $100 especially from France, Italy, and the US. 

If you are after some luxury bottle, there is a rare example of over $10k a bottle, yes $10k, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru.

For Moscato dessert wine expect to pay between $10 – $20.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Chardonnay vs Moscato expert!

You should also have a good idea of what to expect from your glass of Chardonnay and Moscato. 

Our recommendation is based on what you’d fancy the most at a particular given moment or event. 

Unoaked Chardonnay are usually good choices for a hot summer day since they are refreshing, very light, and easy to drink.

Oaked Chardonnay offers more complexity and can be paired with bolder flavors like grilled meat or fish. It’s therefore a more all-year-round wine in a sense.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

Are you instead after something light, sweet with light bubbles? Then Moscato is your best bet.

Our recommendation for Best Value Moscato d’Asti is Castello del Poggio Moscato d’Asti and for Best Overall is Ruffino Moscato d’Asti.

As always make sure to serve your Chardonnay and Moscato at the right temperature and glass, so that you can enjoy them at their best.

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