I haven’t bought a lot of dessert wines lately but – like an overweight monk might possibly have said once on a cold January morning – I’m trying to get back into the habit.
I’m familliar with Muscat, but not in this form – usually I find it’s paler: a kind of straw-yellow, maybe with a hint of lemon, and quite sweet and citrusy all at once: kind of like mixed fruit peel or something, but more refreshing than that sounds.
This was pretty different, and the clue’s in the name: Essensia Orange Muscat.
It’s from California, which is known for its oranges and orange juice as much as its wines, so I suppose this is the best of both worlds, if you like that sort of thing.
I don’t know that the grape itself is orange – but it’s called Orange Muscat and is usually used for dessert wines, unlike other Muscats which can be used for anything from munching in their naked state to making brandy.
Your enjoyment of this wine is pretty much going to fall on your enjoyment of oranges in general, but particularly in their Victorian/possibly-Mediaeval dessert candied state. It’s a bit too sweet for me, which seems unfair for a sweet wine, but there we are.
There’s not enough going in the aroma to take me anywhere in particular, and the taste tickles the parts of my memory banks housing long car journeys on the A5 from Wales to Redditch in which we’d be given tiny orange Vitamin E tablets to suck on.
I loved those tablets, so while it probably doesn’t sound too complimentary to compare a wine to something so unromantic, it’s not an actually unpleasant sensation, just a little bizarre and, on its own, a little underwhelming.
Outside of the sweetness and oranginess, there’s nothing really to report; it seems to be a wine for people who aren’t too keen on wines: grandparents or grandchildren who don’t like the drier stuff. If you want to enjoy it you should probably make sure it’s very, very cold, make sure you have something incredibly strong and salty (like Roquefort) to enjoy it with, and don’t try more than a glass at once or you might feel like you’re going to turn into an orange, or indeed a Vitamin C tablet.
Available from Majestic for £9.99.