Zibibbo, the great treasure of Pantelleria

July 11, 2014

Zibibbo is a type of Muscat vine, also known by the names of Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat of Spain, moscatellone and salamanna; it is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean area. This same name also indicates the sweet and fortified wine, which is obtained using this type of grape. Said vine comes from Egypt and was introduced by the Phoenicians in the island of Pantelleria, where almost all of the national production is still cultivated. In addition, the 85% of the island's economy revolves around the viticulture and the production of local wines.

The characteristic terraces on which the grape is grown are instead of Arabic origin, as well as the name of the grape: the word "zibibbo" derives in fact from the Arabic word "zabib", which means "raisins". The name itself describes one of the main characteristics of the Zibibbo: the large and sweet elongated grapes are perfect to go through the drying process that follows the harvest.

From the Zibibbo vine is obtained not only the wine of the same name but also, for example, the famous Moscato di Pantelleria and Passito di Pantelleria; moreover, because of its renowned sweetness, this product is also used as a blending wine, especially for the wines of northern Italy, which are often deficient in sugar content and aroma.

Zibibbo is a wine with a brilliant, golden yellow color. Its scent is pleasant and fruity, with hints of almond and apricot, while the taste is sweet, aromatic and with a typical almond aftertaste.

The minimum alcohol content of this wine is of 10° and it has to be served cold, at a temperature between 8° and 12° C.

As for pairings, Zibibbo can be used as an aperitif, but it also goes very well with fish and shellfish dishes, as well as with cheeses and blue cheeses. Thanks to its composition, however, sweets are the perfect accompaniment for this wine, especially the traditional Sicilian ones: cannoli, cassata, marzipan, but also pistachio desserts and ice cream all make an exceptional pair with a nice glass of Zibibbo.

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