The #ItalianFWT group is looking at Lambrusco this month. I love the above map of the regions of Emilia Romagna because it shows you where the specific Lambrusco varities hail from. What it doesn’t show you is how many varieties there are, 60 to be precise, or how wonderful and versatile the wines made with these grapes are.
This second map does however show the amazing wealth of products that Emilia is famous for. So many of these dishes and delicacies work with Lambrusco. There are a number of nicknames for Bologna, Bologna la Grassa (the fat one) is the one that recalls how wonderful the food is in that city. While Bologna la Dotta (Learned) is the one that gives a shout out to the fact that Bologna is the site of the first University in the Western World, founded in 1088. It’s third nickname has always been Bologna La Rossa because of its left learning politics.
Lambrusco comes not only from varied varieties but also in different styles and hails from a number of provinces, Modena, Reggio Emilia, and in Lombardy, from Mantova. It can be made in a sweet, dry, rose and even into a white wine. The DOCs are listed below
1. LAMBRUSCO DI SORBARA,
2. LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DI CASTELVETRO,
3. LAMBRUSCO SALAMINO DI SANTA CROCE,
4. LAMBRUSCO DI MODENA.
1. REGGIANO LAMBRUSCO,
2. LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA COLLI DI SCANDIANO E CANOSSA.
3. LAMBRUSCO MONTERICCO COLLI DI SCANDIANO E CANOSSA
1. LAMBRUSCO MANTOVANO
For this event, I tried a Lini Lambrusco and Riunite for old times sake. Lini has been making wines in this area since 1910. It is a family affair and they are on their fourth generation. The family makes a number of wines including a Rose and Lambrusco in bianco or a white wine as well as the more traditional ones. The one I had was 85% lambrusco salamino 15% ancellotta. It was made in the charmat method and has about 11% alcohol.
Lambrusco tends to have lower alcohol than many other red wines we see which makes it a great food pairing wine but also as an aperitivo. I love a cold glass of Lambrusco as an aperitivo such as this one from Lini where Salamino is the principal grape. If I order one in the States, sometimes people are surprised, but I notice that then my friends follow suit and are all pleased because it is so refreshing yet weighty enough to pair with finger foods.
Moving on in a meal, one could pair a Lambrusco with a first course such as the famed Tortellini in Brodo with say a Lambrusco di Sorbara, one of the lighter and elegant version of Lambrusco. If the meal had a second course, a roast or other white meats, or perhaps a plate of charcuterie and cheese, I am thinking a Lambrusco di Grasparossa.
Lambrusco Reggiano comes from the province of Reggio Emilia and is usually made with Lambrusco Marani and Lambrusco Salamino. It often presents floral aromas and can be sweet. I bought this bottle of Riunite at Total Wine because it was the only one they had. I ordered a number of others but they haven’t arrived yet from Astor in New York which has a great selection. The one I bought and tried had loads of sugar, 42 g/l, and low alcohol, at 8.5%. As I wrote in my preview piece, I remember the “Riunite on Ice” campaigns from the 1980s when I was a teenager. It think my high school boyfriend and I probably bought a bottle and thought we were pretty mature. I’m sure we drank it while eating Baked Zitti, another 1980s food memory but I digress. My point it that whichever Lambrusco you try, they are great, versatile wines and I hope gracing your glass from now on.
Check out what my fellow bloggers are saying about the wines they discovered and please join us on June 5th at 11:00am EST on Twitter for our monthly chat. Use our hashtag, #ItalianFWT and let us know what you think of these great wines.
- Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Cantina Paltrinieri Radice Lambrusco di Sorbara 2018 for #WorldLambruscoDay“
- Wendy Klik from A Day in the Life on the Farm posts “A Dry Lambrusco?! Well, yes please“
- Nicole Ruiz Hudson from Somms Table adds “The Lighter Side of Lambrusco“
- Pinny Tam from Chinese Food and Wine Pairings brings “A Dry Lambrusco from Riunite with One-Person Shabu-shabu Dinner”
- Jeff Burrows from Food Wine Click! writes “Classic Aperitivo from Emilia-Romagna“
- Lynn Gowdy from Savor the Harvest says “Time for Lambrusco“
- Robin Bell Renken from Crushed Grape Chronicles pens “Banish me to Mantua, with a glass of Lambrusco Mantovano“
- Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley from Wine Predator suggests “Celebrate Summer with a Dry RED Sparkling Wine: Lambrusco to the Rescue!”
- Deanna Kang from Asian Test Kitchen showcases, “A Gluten Free Brunch Paired with Lini Labrusca Wines“
- Terri Oliver Steffes from Our Good Life joins with “5 Things I Learned about Lambrusco and the Best Food Pairings“
- Here at Avvinare, I showcase “Versatile Lambrusco, A Wine For Every Mood”