#newwinethisweek Week 46 – Lambrusco, Emilia Romagna
If it feels like Mike is looking to the past with this week’s choice… but you don’t know how wrong you are… the Lambrusco renaissance has begun!
Surely this is a joke right? A cheap and sweet throwback to the 80s on #newwinethisweek? Hell no, Lambrusco is making a comeback in a big way. A couple of months ago I visited The Remedy Wine Bar and they were celebrating Lambrusco Day; I genuinely didn’t know what to think about this so I went for the 3-wine Lambrusco flight they were offering. What was in those glasses was a real revelation to me and I’m sure it will be to you by the time the week is over.
The name Lambrusco refers to the grape… but in true Italian style, it’s not that simple. There are 6 common Lambrusco grapes; Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Montericco, Lambrusco Salamino, and Lambrusco Sorbara. The majority of the grapes are grown in the Emilia Romagna region (also home to balsamic vinegar, Parma ham and Ferrari), with a smaller amount coming from Lombardy. Up to 15% of non-Lambrusco grapes are permitted in the blend, Cabernet Sauvignon for example, to give a bit more structure and body.
It was the sweet and fizzy stuff that made the wine (in)famous in the 1970s and 80s but these days Lambrusco is made in a variety of styles, with varying levels of sweetness in both still and sparkling form. The wines also have relatively low alcohol, some as low as 4%, but the more serious bottles tend to be around the 11% mark. What you should expect is lots of bright and refreshing berry fruits, which makes the wine taste sweeter than it actually is; a truly enjoyable glass that will make you yearn for the summer on these cold, damp evenings!
If you look at the bottles on the bottom shelf for £2.50 you’re not going to change your mind about Lambrusco, but if you take the time to look a little harder you may well find something that truly surprises you this week.
So a bit more work to find a bottle this week, but why not give it a go?