The golden Moscatel de Favaios, made from Portugal’s Muscat grapes in the lush Douro Valley, is a clear apéritif with lovely shades of gold and a subtle, complex aroma with notes of lime, orange, melon, raisins and almonds and perhaps some floral aromas like rose and linden.
A sweet, fortified wine, Moscatel de Favaios is best served chilled and enjoyed purely as an apéritif, or perhaps matched with some cheese, before a meal to stimulate your appetite. If Portuguese food weren’t so incredible, one might even indulge in making the apéritif and cheese the entire meal itself (seriously, no one’s judging). This elegant and fresh flavor, with well-balanced sweetness, is also a lovely choice to pair with desserts.
Moscatel de Favaios is the type of wine where only the best grapes are selected for use. Fermentation then takes place at very controlled temperatures (59 Fahrenheit-61 Fahrenheit) and lasts for two-three days, intensely saturating the skins of the grapes. Brandy is then added, inducing high levels of alcohol and residual sugar. Maceration of the grape skins continue at lowered temperatures for another five or six days. Then once the juices in the grapes have been pressed, the wine is then aged for a few years before being bottled.