Happy Summer Solstice!
And what wine should you toast the longest day of the year with?
One day when Sue and I were working on our tasting and publishing calendar, I told her I wanted to do something for Lambrusco Day. She was not enthused.
You see, when we came of age as wine drinkers, two wines were VERY popular:
- Lambrusco — a frothy red wine (that sometimes had the red removed!) and
- White Zinfandel — a rose wine made from zinfandel grapes.
Both types of wine were typically sweet, insubstantial, and inexpensive, and, at least in Lambrusco’s case, low in alcohol.
As you know, rose has definitely been resurrected. In fact, we are in LOVE with DRY ROSE here on WINE PREDATOR!
In fact, dry rose is selling out everywhere — from Bonterra’s Rose of Grenache, Sangio, and Tempranillo with .36% residual sugar which we tasted last night on #WineStudio to The Ojai Vineyard’s Rose blend which is dry as a bone.
And so now it is time to bring back real LAMBRUSCO!
Because you see, what was brought over to the US and sold as Lambrusco really isn’t representative at all of “Real Lambrusco.” Real Lambrusco is at least 11% alcohol and not loaded down with residual sugar.
Real Lambrusco does not taste like alcoholic soda.
As Sue and I found during a #WineStudio in December 2015 and as I again found last September at a Kobrand industry tasting in LA, “Real Lambrusco” is zesty and vibrant — and NOT SWEET.
Wikipedia says that “Lambrusco is a brightly colored grape variety used to make sparkling red wines in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. More accurately, it is a collective term for a group of grape varieties (much like Muscat) – more than 60 Lambrusco varieties have been identified so far. “
In fact, as we discovered last night on Solstice Eve, Lambrusco is an awesome food wine which we will discuss in a later post to be published on the first Saturday in July, July 1, when the Italian Food Wine Travel group discuss Italian wines for Summer!
For Lambrusco Day, we tasted three wines from Medici Ermete, one of the oldest Lambrusco producers in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy: the Medici family has been producing top quality Lambrusco for over 120 years.
How do they make it bubbly? No they don’t add carbonation but a natural second fermentation process, the Charmat method, to make fresh, fruity, easy-drinking wines that are accessible and pair well with food from appetizers to dessert (as we found out last night!)
If you want to give Lambrusco a swirl, Medici Ermete entry level wine is their I Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco, NV SRP $13.99 which is comprised of Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco. We loved the deep, bright ruby color, and the woodsy aromas including violet and sage. The deep dark rich old world crimson color made us think it’s the color that a vampire would leave on your neck! On the nose, violets, chocolate, cherry, does not smell sweet, earthy, has a sophisticated nose with anise and earth. Easy to drink on its own, very pleasant earthy quality with lovely little bubbles not at all like a soda pop but more like Champagne or Franciacorta.
Someone who likes earthy pinot noir ought to give this Lambrusco a chance!
For the price this is a very nice wine, with caramel, minty, and blood orange on the finish.
Happy Solstice! Cheers!