Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wine Reviews: Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante & Pink Moscato

Barefoot. You read that right. You should hang up your wine snob hats at the door, wineos, and prepare to be surprised. Barefoot does some pretty delicious bubbles.

This is Part 2 of 2 of a small Barefoot Bubbly series, just in time for New Years festivities. I just reviewed their Prosecco with the conclusion that it's actually an awesome Prosecco for the price, and my decision on the Brut Cuvée was that it's pretty decent and serviceable.

Today I'm switching from those dry boys to these sweet ladies. It's their Moscato Spumante and Pink Moscato. Although the use of the word "Champagne" on the bottle sends sparks of anger to my central nervous system, I guess I can let it slide... because I've had both of these before and I'm actually excited to pop them open again.

Anger from Inside Out
As I explained in the first review of these wines, Champagne is a protected word for the sparkling wine of Champagne, France but us Americans can add America/n or California/n if it's not sold on the European Union market. It still sets off a little Louis Black from Inside Out in the minds of us wine geeks, though. Anger takes over the control board, followed by Disgust after the rage settles down. Sometimes it's the other way around with Disgust building up into Anger. Emotions are complicated. Living is hard.

Both of these guys are from California and use the charmat method for the second fermentation that gives them carbonation.


I'm sure you've heard of Asti. That's 100% sparkling Moscato from the northwestern subregion of Asti within Piedmont, Italy. It's sweet and spunky, and its style is the template of all sparkling Moscato. It used to be called Asti Spumante, and is still known by many as just that, but it's now officially just Asti. Spumante is an Italian word for a white sparkling wine, so calling this wine Moscato Spumante is an ode to its Asti and Italian inspiration.

Asti gets its sweetness though partial fermentation. So rather than fermenting it to dryness and adding sugar at the very end in a dosage, they cut off the fermentation of sugars into alcohol at a certain point by chilling it. What you end up with is a sweet wine with only about 7 to 8% ABV. This wine may actually see a bit of both partial fermentation and dosage, or even just dosage, because the ABV is 10.5%. That may not seem very high in comparison to most wines, but for Moscato it's pretty high.

Like their Prosecco, it's got more of a frothiness than full bubble going on. Although there are a few streams of very small and very fast bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. The color of the wine is a light, light gold.

IMG SRC: scienceleadership.org
Oranges! Lots and lots of oranges! Do you like oranges? I love oranges. Whenever I'm eating an orange I do it super slow and savor every second, wishing that it would last forever. So juicy and flavorful. Sweet and succulent. And that's exactly what this sparkling Moscato is: So juicy and flavorful. Sweet and succulent.

It's dangerous. A bottle of this could last you five minutes if you're not careful. But I'm going to give it a 3.5 out of 5 between Satisfying and Recommended, just because I know of several real Asti's that are just incredible for around the same price. But really, if you're a fan of sweet wine and you find yourself with a bottle of this then you're in for a fun time!

Price: $11
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / Recommended (what does that mean?)


Moscato is an entire grape family within the vitis vinifera grape species, rather than one single varietal. There are red varieties and white varieties within that family. But the one that we all know and love, and call simply "Moscato", is actually the variety called Moscato Bianco. Given that it has Bianco in its name it's obviously white. So when you see something labelled as a Pink Moscato or a Red Moscato, they've taken wine from Moscato Bianco and added red wine to give it color and flavor. Now that I've got that settled, let's get on to the highlight of all of these Barefoot Bubbly wines.

This wine wasn't even in the original line-up that Barefoot sent me to review. At first I only got the other three. A few weeks before I planned on writing the reviews it just so happened that we were having a tasting that included the Bubbly Pink Moscato among other random wines at work. At this point I knew the Prosecco, Brut Cuvée and Moscato Spumante were much better than anybody expected, which is why I requested them when approached by Barefoot for the website... but even I brushed off all their other stuff. There's one called "Peach Fusion". Really? Gross.

Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato
But being the wine manager, I had to taste it to make sure it wasn't spoiled or corked. So I did. My immediate reaction sold bottles to on-lookers, right then and there. It continued to sell through the day as I sung its praises. When I got home that night I emailed Barefoot's rep and requested a bottle so I could add it to the reviews because IT HAD TO BE INCLUDED. He sent me two. I squealed like a little girl when they were delivered.

It's a salmon color and has the same frothy carbonation as the Moscato Spumante, but it's got a 9.5% ABV so it's sweeter. On the front end of the nose there's steel and on the back end there's toast. In between that there's strawberry candy and peaches. The palate has sharp green apples at first and smooths out into juicy cherries. Then it finishes with strawberry candy and peaches. 

What appears to be a low quality, crappy wine will take your ass to Flavortown, my friend. If you don't believe me then just go ahead and try it for yourself. Just don't hate me when you love it.

Price: $11
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottles used were supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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