Fun to pop open and pour with its pretty pink foam, which quickly subsides and a slight sparkle, Lambrusco is festive. A red wine with bubbles probably won't garner the same praise as Bordeaux or Burgundy in the eyes of wine connoisseurs, but real Lambrusco does speak to a revolution in the making.
Lambrusco is produced in Emilia-Romagna in north-central Italy and there's a long history of drinking semi-sparkling wines, called frizzante by Italians, in this region.
Through the 1970's and most of the 1980's Lambrusco was the number one imported wine in the United States (beating out Portugal's Mateus Rose and Germany's Blue Nun). Lambrusco eventually fell out of favor when we discovered Sutter Home White Zinfandel. Fast forward twenty plus years and now it seems that Lambrusco is poised to delight anew.
We put aside our prejudice, haunted by those cloyingly sweet, soda pop, fizzy styled Lambruscos of the past and were surprised to discover some wonderful wines that you can be proud to serve to your family and friends at home. The new faces of Lambrusco, Ca' De' Medici, Tenuta Pederzana, Medici Ermete and Vigneto Saetti are making some noteworthy wines.
We tasted the wines first without and then with food. Grissini bread sticks wrapped with Prosciutto Di Parma, Rosemary Asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano, grilled Mortadella with freshly grated horseradish, spicy salami and pepperoni were wonderful foils for these wines. The natural high acidity of Lambrusco coupled with the bubbles helped to cut through the richness of the meats and cheeses we sampled.
June 21, 2013 is Lambrusco Day and we're hoping this pod cast will inspire you to explore and find out for yourself how Lambrusco is indeed, making a comeback.