Showing posts with label Muscat of Alexandria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muscat of Alexandria. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Sweet Wine From Sicily For The Holidays Or Anytime

The holidays are a great time for dessert wines. The festivities just seem to shine a little brighter with a sweet wine in your glass, which is why I always try to have a few, at least. If you missed your chance at holiday sweets, there is another opportunity on the way. We call it Valentine's Day. 

One of the finest sweeties I have had was from the Sicilian producer Donnafugata. Donnafugata produces wines from a number of vineyards across the island on their estates in Contessa Entellina, Pantelleria, Vittoria and Etna. The historical family cellars in Marsala serve as a center for innovation. 

The iconic 2021 Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria is a sweet, complex, and aromatic wine made of 100% Muscat of Alexandria grapes, also known as Zibibbo. Passito is the style of wine made from dried grapes. Why call this wine Ben Ryé? The name comes from the Arabic term for "Son of the Wind." The wind always seems to be sweeping around the grape vines on the island of Pantelleria.

The wine was aged for eight months in oak and at least a year in the bottle before being released for sale. Alcohol sits at 14.5% abv and the price is $46 for the 375 ml bottle.

This white dessert wine has a most beautiful, rich-looking copper color. The nose is just as enticing, with big aromas of orange candy and dried apricots. The palate is a sheer delight. It is sweet enough to be dessert on its own, but has enough acidity to pair with your favorite after-dinner sweets or a selection of cheeses. It is pricy, but it is an experience that can be savored. 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Italian Surprise

One of the great things about Italian wines is that there's always a new grape experience around the next corner, even when there's not.  The bottle of Donna Fugata Lighea promised Zibibbo grapes from Sicily.  That sounds exotic, but Zibibbo is also known as Muscat of Alexandria.  MOA originated in North Africa and was good enough for Cleopatra, they say, so it's good enough for me.

The grapes for Donna Fugata Lighea 2016 were grown on head-trained bush vines on the island of Sicily, fermented in stainless steel and aged in vats for two months, then three more in the bottle.  The alcohol sits easy at 12.5% abv and the price comes in just under $20.

The label waxes poetic about the "disheveled tresses" of the "bewitching siren" Lighea.  That's how Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa describes the label's focal point. 

This pale golden wine's nose is brimming with orange blossom, like a walk in the garden.  The palate also plays up the orange, but includes sweet lime and lemon in the mix.  The mouthfeel is brisk and racy, with enough acidity to handle anything you'd normally pair with a white.  This wine will be a hit with lots of seafood, like shrimp scampi, oysters and grilled octopus.

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