Zibibbo Sparkling Pink Moscato, which derives its name from the Sicilian word for Muscat and its color from a splash of Shiraz, is reminiscent of fresh berries on a summer day. While the name may not roll off the tongue of many Americans, you’ll find that it’s pretty fun to say and the delicate flavor, fine effervescence and light strawberry notes are most refreshing to the palate. The romantic pink color is a perfect match for Valentine’s Day.
Zibbibo, pressed from Muscat of Alexandria grapes, comes from original plantings in South Australia’s Riverland, located inland just a bit from Adelaide along the Murray River. Long, sunny days and cool nights allow the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly. Grapes are harvested at around 21 degrees brix, a measure of sweetness (the brix of fresh apple cider might be 11 degrees, while a sweet dessert wine might be 40 degrees). The grapes are picked in March, Australia’s autumn, when the sugars and acid are in balance, at night so the grapes stay cool. The charmat process, similar to what is used to make Prosecco, creates the carbonation as sugars are decomposed by yeasts in large vats, rather than in the bottle like the method champenoise that is used to make champagne. A splash of Shiraz enhances the complexity and gives the wine its characteristic crimson blush. The alcohol level is on the low side at 8%, making this a very drinkable wine, whether at a romantic dinner or with a fruit plate at brunch.
Produced by Angove Family Winemakers in South Australia and imported by Napa Valley giant Trinchero Family Estates (TFE) this wine is part of an ongoing interest in wines from the land down under. Recently Australian winemakers have increased their focus on quality as competition has increased from wine producers in South America, South Africa and Eastern Europe. Angove Family Winemakers have been creating fine wine near Adelaide since 1886, when patriarch William T. Angove, MD began making wine as a tonic for his patients. Now the fourth and fifth generations of Angove’s are taking the reins, modernizing and expanding their global footprint through partnerships like they have with TFE.
The name Zibbibo might be unusual and the color might make you think it’s sweeter than it is, but the naturally low alcohol content and festive bubbles make this a good choice for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day, a girl’s night out or relaxing glass of sparkling wine after work.
Zibbibo Sparkling Pink Moscato is available at retail locations and through Amazon, retailing for around $11-13, a great value.