“Hey! Isn’t this that sparkling red wine that the funny Italian chef talked about?”

The funny Italian chef Chelsea was referring to was Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura and the sparkling red wine she was referring to was indeed Lambrusco… a wine with a troubled past, yet a wine with deep cultural tradition.

Some Background

Lambrusco exploded onto the American and Northern European markets in the 1980’s. It’s popularity lead to many bastardized versions of the stuff – I’ve even read that some producers went to the extremes of stripping the wine of its colour and alcohol!!

Yes, Lambrusco is just sparkling red wine, but it’s so much more than that.

It has a deep cultural tradition. It’s roots lay in the Italian province of Emilia. A proper IGT Lambrusco will have racy acidity and intense fizziness – a great complement to the hearty and heavy dishes of Emilia.

Recent efforts to increase the quality of Lambrusco resulted in the tightening of production rules. DOC zones were also re-jigged.

Tastes, Smells, and Pairings

Lambrusco is made from the Lambrusco grape, and often expresses flavours and aromas of strawberry, blackberry, rhubarb, along with something along the lines of a potted soil or yogurt/cream undertones. The wine provides you with sharp long lasting bubbles, and leaves you with the tannin grip of red wines.

This red wine should be served in the 7 to 14 degree Celsius range, and can be served with pretty much anything. This said, I highly recommend pairing it with the flavours from its homeland of Emilia – a nice charcuterie board featuring some Proscuitto di Parma and Parmagiano-Reggiano! Mamma Mia!

Note: Lambrusco is a great option to serve that one friend who only drinks white wine, but you’re slowly trying to convert to red wine.

  • Sweetness: X-dry
  • Varietals: Lambrusco
  • Alcohol: 11%
  • Country: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Producer: @lini910
  • Price: @lcbo $19.95