Time For Lambrusco! (#ItalianFWT)

      20 Comments on Time For Lambrusco! (#ItalianFWT)

When was the last time you enjoyed Lambrusco? Yeah, that’s what I thought, me too.

The thing is, it’s so versatile and food friendly– from fruity and quaffable to rather big and sometimes complex.

The Lambrusco Clan

Lambrusco is both an Italian red grape and a wine made from said grape. It’s a large clan (upwards of 60 varieties) that call Emilia Romagna home, specifically in and around the cities of Reggio-Emilio and Modena, bot  ultimate Italian food areas! They grow in Lombardy, Trentino, Veneto and Puglia too but are difficult to find.

The good thing is you only need to know five (from lightest to darkest color): Lambrusco Sorbara, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa, and Lambrusco Maestri.

Making the choice even easier, know Lambrusco di Sorbara results in the palest and lightest wines yet intensely fragrant. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lambrusco Grasparossa is dark (both color and flavors), fleshier and fuller-bodied producing a more tannic wine.

Lambrusco Salamino falls in the middle with characteristics of both Sorbara and Grasparossa- fruity and fresh, brisk and fleshy.

Lambrusco Marani continues to fall out of fancy in favor of the fruitier and richer Lambrusco Maestri.

Finally, know many bottles are fantastic blends of Lambrusco varieties.

Foamy, Fizzy, Fantastic

When you pour a glass, it bubbles and foams, similar to pouring a beer. They are made in the Charmant method where the second fermentation completes in a tank versus bottle. You end up with either a frizzante (semi-sparkling with 1-2.5 bars of pressure) or spumante (fully sparkling with 3 bars of pressure) wine. And some producers are  going back to the ancestral method (bottled before the end of fermentation, fermentation finishes in the bottle).

Lambrusco is most often made in dry (secco) and off-dry (semi-secco or amabile), or less common sweet (dolce) styles. You have to know what to look for on the label to get what you want. Even better, find a good wine shop who can steer you towards your preferred style.

In My Glass: Villa del Vento, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC

Indirectly from the Medici Ermete winery, this is their Villa Del Vento brand made under their Cantini Bema label. It pours a profound strawberry color with a touch of foaminess; Cherry, strawberry and bramble aromas with a hint of bitterness waft from the glass. The palate evokes cherry-strawberry bitters and candied nectarine. Brisk acidity gives it a dry but gentle, tickly finish. A super fun wine at just 11% alcohol and 9€.

Super match with Parma ham wrapped cantalope melon slices. The salty and savory ham mellowed the acidity and bitterness and enhanced the wine fruitiness. The melon added a touch of creamy sweetness.

About the Winery: Remigio Medici started Medici Ermete in 1890 on the Via Emilia road between the towns Parma and Reggio Emilia. It is run by the fifth generation of the family today. They own 80 hectares of organic vineyards and also work with growers. In addition to their Medici Ermete wines (both spumante and still), they make wines under a few other brands for different markets in various places around the world: the wine I tasted is one- Villa del Vento. This particular label is not sold in the U.S. However it is available under a different brand- Quercioli Sorbara. When asked about agricultural practices of the grower producers, fourth generation Pierluigi Medici shared they pay a lot of attention to the sustainability of their vine growing partners! They also have water conservation and energy efficiency programs.

Their organic Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano is easily found in the U.S. via importer Kobrand. It’s one of the great Lambrusco available today.  Their newer ‘Lambrusco di Sorbara Phermento’ (made via the ancestral method) is turning heads!

Whichever you select, Lambrusco is sure to elevate your afternoon or evening.

Italian Food, Wine Travel Group Talks Lambrusco

Our host Susannah Gold of Vigneto Communications chose Lambrusco this month as the #ItalianFWT group topic, coinciding with World Lambrusco Day June 21st. Find her invite post here and our #ItalianFWT group tasty line up just below. Twitter chat Saturday 5-June at 11am EDT!

What to know about Lambrusco

–> It takes the heat off in warmer months- serve it chilled from fridge temp to 55℉.

–> It loves to be paired with foods- simple to complex. Ideas: grilled goat cheese stuffed figs wrapped with prosciutto, BBQ anything, Caesar salad, lasagna, pizza.

–> It begs ‘sip me for aperitivo!’.

–> It’s affordable, well under the $25 mark for most.

–> The majority are meant for drinking young so don’t put it in the back of your wine storage and forget about it.

–> Most bottles are saberable.

–> Head to Consorzio Lambrusco’s webpage for all things Lambrusco.


20 thoughts on “Time For Lambrusco! (#ItalianFWT)

  1. Allison Wallace

    Guilty as charged. For some reason it’s never on our top of mind list but we’ll aim to celebrate on the 21st appropriately (it would be rude not to?!). One thing we do have often is prosciutto wrapped melon so will also aim to be these two together!

    1. Lynn Post author

      There are so many wines to try, my list is long and now longer with more Lambrusco. See you on the 21st out there!

  2. Martin D Redmond

    That Parma ham and melon looks superb! I actually have a Lambrusco Bianco, I’d hoped to share with #ItalianFWT, this month, but it’;s been an action-packed week. Have you tried a Lambrusco Bianco?

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Martin. I haven’t yet tried a Bianco… will look for your notes. That sounds intriguing.

  3. Lauren

    All those shades of coral – prosciutto, melon, Lambrusco – what a way to welcome summer! I need more of all three in my kitchen right now.

  4. robincgc

    It’s amazing the wide range of Lambruscos out there! So many variations to explore and enjoy. I love that you mention the range of colors and concentrations. I have only had deeper Lambruscos, I have so many more to explore! I would love something this light to pair with Parma-wrapped melon!

    1. Lynn Post author

      You and me both Robin, lots to explore! I have an order of several types coming that I am eager to taste.

  5. Susannah Gold

    Lynn, I am so glad you found a Lambrusco to join with us. Thanks for the precise notes about the category, those were great. Prosciutto and Melon with a glass of Lambrusco sounds divine. I have had a number of the Medici Ermete wines, I didn’t realize they were organically farmed. That’s great because they are a big producer. Cheers to you, Susannah

    1. Lynn Post author

      I’m not sure if all the vineyards are certified organic but was told farmed in an organic manner. Perhaps I’ll dig a bit more!

  6. deanna

    Your tasting notes of the wine are SO good, and I love the pairing with prosciutto wrapped melon. It’s simple enough for me to make and sounds exactly right with the wine. I’m going to try it on my next bottle of sorbara. Lovely pairing!

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Deanna, the melon was very nice with sorbara. I’d like to try it with the other varieties and see how it works.

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Nicole, we think a like. They can be such great wines if you find a quality producer and get a style you like. To drinking more Lambrusco!


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