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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

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