Lambrusco - Summer’s New Best Friend
Lambrusco. Memories of Riunite nights still give me the heebee jeebees. Syrupy sweet, over carbonated, fruit juicy frat brother of Cold Duck. Ugh. It seems that for the longest time that was Lambrusco in the U.S. It’s a new century and the world of Lambrusco has changed, or so it seems; all the cool kids are drinking it.
Truth be told Lambrusco has, as all wine regions have, been producing wines of varying quality, some good, some bad. Rarely though, did even the finest wine shops devote precious shelf space to such an unworthy selection. Some retailers, those specializing in Italian wines, maintained a small selection but, I suspect were less than successful selling them. Instead, they gleefully consumed the frothy reds with plates of thinly sliced salumi and the salty cheeses with which they pair magically. Fast-froward to today where Lambrusco is all the buzz, the “new” delicious summer must-have. I, for one, couldn’t be more thrilled.
A little Lambrusco background information first. Lambrusco is both the grape and the region where it is grown within the subregions of Emiglia-Romagna and Lombardia. The grape has a long winemaking history with archaeological evidence indicating that the Etruscans cultivated the vine. The wine is vinified in bith still and frizzante styles although the latter is much more common. The slight effervesence come about through traditional bottle fermentation allowing Lambrusco to retain its fresh fruity nature.
How good are these Lambrusci? You won’t be able to keep them around! Made in Rosso, Bianco and Rose, there may not be a purer form of refreshment for summer. The best producers keep the residual sugars to a minimum leaving just enough to frame the huge fruit character.
Lini Oreste, perhaps my favorite producer, just celebrated 100 years of growing and producing high quality, reasonably priced Lambrusco. The wines labeled under the “LINI dal 910” name, are flat-out delicious versions. Their Rosso is gorgeous to taste and to look at with the deepest, almost murky plum color and slightly bitter cherry, menthol and anise palate. The Bianco is the epitome of crisp and clean with subtler notes of the same flavor profile with hint od stone fruit and mineral. Surprisingly, the Rose has the least sweetness with all the depth and complexity of the Rosso.
All irresistible, and any your new favorite. Buy them by the case and keep them cold. You’ll need the easy access.
Size750MLVintage2011SKU14341The Lini family's tradional Lambrusco Rosso, low in alcohol, with bright acidity and loads of fruit, is a perfect pairing for the classic dishes of Emilia like tagliatelle bolognese, and the region's famous cured meats. This is real Lambrusco.