Stephanie Gallo, vice president of marketing for Gallo Family Vineyards in Modesto, Calif., is supposed to promote wine. That’s her job. But she doesn’t have to spin the popularity of their Moscato brand. The numbers speak for themselves.

“In the first quarter of 2011, it surpassed even reisling in sales,” she says. “And in 2010, it’s gone up 124 percent. By way of comparison, malbecs, which is considered another hot variety in wine, was up only 6.4 percent.”

Gallo attributes their Moscato’s success to the low price point, as well as a younger generation of wine-buyers. “People between the ages of 25 and 43 are discovering it because it’s such a very versatile grape. They are really responding to the tropical notes.” Women also seem to be snapping it up. “It’s lighter and some would say it’s sweeter,” she admits. “But when I serve it to men, they like it too.”

What to pair with Moscato

“It pairs really well with sharp and strong flavors. From an entree standpoint, I love to pair it with something spicy, such as Indian or Thai food. The flavors marry really well,” says Gallo. “It’s also great with dessert. One of my personal favorite recipes is Moscato with strawberry shortcake. The two really complement each other.”