Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Does Moscato contain phenols like Champagne?

Deb, Monroe, N.C.

Dear Deb,

Sure. Phenolics are chemical compounds that come from grapes, and they affect a wine’s color, as well as its texture and flavor. You’ll find phenolics are in all wine, but because skins are the biggest source of phenols, red wines, which tend to be made with more skin contact than white wines, usually will have more phenolics than white wines.

Champagne would probably have more phenols than Moscato since two of the three grapes used in Champagne are red wine grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). I imagine you’re referring to some of the recent news that Champagne may help improve brain functions? That’s good news for Champagne lovers like me, but to be clear, the research only focused on that type of bubbly and red wines, not whites or sparkling/frizzante wines made from grapes not used in Champagne.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 365,000+ ratings.