Drinking Cleto Chiarli’s Lambrusco at the Balcony Bar At the Metropolitan Museum in New York City


I was lucky enough to see the Michelangelo show yesterday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was one of the most amazing drawings in the show. My Mom said it looked like God breathed on the page. A perfect comment from my artist Mom. One of the things we love to do together is go to see exhibits ever since I was a wee lass.


We also love to have a drink, since I was an older girl. Lucky for us, at the Met, we get to do both thanks to the lovely Balcony Lounge. I’ve written about this bar which is one of my favorite New York locations to have a drink.


It’s such an amazing and beautiful setting. They have a band that plays at 5:00pm many nights of the week. The menu is limited but the Lambrusco I had yesterday was perfect for my mood and the day.

There are over 60 varieties of Lambrusco that are known, perhaps even more, but only six or seven of them are considered the more prestigious ones. I loved going to graduate school in Bologna and I love remembering the time when I lived in that glorious city and was able to drink Lambrusco as often as I wanted to. Luckily, Lambrusco is becoming ever more popular. I am a huge fan of bubbles be it “spumante” or in wines such as Lambrusco that are better defined as “frizzante.” The difference between the two is the amount and size of the bubbles which must come from the amount of pressure (atmospheres) in the bottles themselves. Frizzante wines have between 2.5 and 3.5 bars of atmosphere/pressure while Spumante wines are usually between 5 and 6 bars.


The one at the Met Bar is Cleto Chiarli’s Lambrusco. Apparently the winery has been in existence since 1860 and hails from the city of Modena. Modena is a beautiful city to visit and a great place to have wonderful food from the region. Many people think of Modena only for its Balsamic vinegar but it is also home to great cuisine. Cleto Chiarli make a huge variety of Lambruscos from Sorbara and from Grasparossa di Castelvetro as well as other wines made from indigenous grapes such as Pignoletto and still others from blends of indigenous and international varieties. According to the company’s website they export half of their production throughout the world.

The wine itself is a light and somewhat fruity red sparkler with notes of cherries but also some undertones of earthiness that I really like. The acidity helps it to work perfectly with food. It is a relatively light drink so can stand on its own as an aperitif. I like Lambrusco with charcuterie, it’s perfect match and have also enjoyed Lambrusco with pizza on occasion.



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