As we wrote about on Lambrusco Day June 21, Lambrusco has gotten a bad rap. Just like any other varietal, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Although technically Lambrusco isn’t so much a specific varietal as it is a family of 60 some wines that gather under the banner of Lambrusco much like moscato has a number of distinct wines all called moscato.
Unfortunately for Lambrusco, there’s been too much ugly. Fortunately for us all, there’s a movement afoot to help us discover REAL Lambrusco — a delightful, fizzy fun beverage that — and this really surprised us– pairs really well with Italian food!
- Proscuitto parm appetizers
- Beet salad with toasted hazelnuts
- Caprese salad with fresh Burrata cheese
- Telagio mushroom artichoke and roasted garlic pizza
- Eight Layer Lasagne with meat and bechemal sauce
- Sourdough rosemary loaf
- Fresh berries and shortbread with whip cream.
Medici Ermete- Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco 2015 –SRP $22.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco
Medici Ermete- Solo Reggiano Rosso 2015 –SRP $19.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco, Ancellotta
Medici Ermete- I Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco, NV – SRP $13.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco, Marani Lambrusco I wrote about this wine here.
We also experimented with Bell’Agio Lambrusco cocktails with fabulous results which you can see below. All wines were samples.
What we discovered:
Lambrusco loves salty, savory, fatty, earthy and sweet, creamy foods. A lovely compliment to a medetranian style meal. With the dryness of a late season fruit, we could see it going with eggplant with bruschetta or toasted bread with cheese and prosciutto.
Low alcohol makes Lambrusco a great lunch or early afternoon wine.
These wines go from the beginning to the end of a meal beautifully– as long as you have an ice bucket for them on warm day!
We found that bright tart lemon flavors went well with the Lambrusco (in fact, we’ve seen this with many Italian wine pairings!) Little bit of sweetness/tartness of the dessert, went well with the sweet earthiness of the wine. very nice pairing.
We thought it would be fun to experiment with lambrusco and different liqueurs. Campari, Limoncello, blood orange liquor, possibly even a anise or Absinthe or Fernat!
what are the limits to the possibilities that will go with this wine?
For over 120 years, the Medici family has been producing top quality Lambrusco making Medici Ermete one of the oldest Lambrusco producers in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The winery blends historic winemaking expertise with a modern, original style. Medici Ermete selects grapes exclusively from Lambrusco’s prime vineyards of the Emilia-Romagna region. They use a natural second fermentation process (Charmat method) to make fresh, fruity wines that are easy-drinking and approachable.
· Medici Ermete- Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco 2015 –SRP $22.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco
o Medici Ermete’s flagship wine, Concerto is the world’s first single vineyard vintage Lambrusco. It is a sparkling dry red wine with lively bubbles achieved through natural fermentation.
o Pairs with a wide variety of foods such as grilled chicken, lamb, steak, lasagna with mixed vegetables and pastas with meat sauce.
· Medici Ermete- Solo Reggiano Rosso 2015 –SRP $19.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco, Ancellotta
o A vivid, brilliant ruby red, the wine shows classic red fruit aromas. Though dry, the palate is fruity, round and exuberant with fine and persistent bubbles.
o Enjoy with charcuterie, mortadella or a variety of pasta dishes such as tortellini, tagliatelle with meat sauce or tortelli stuffed with pumpkin and spices.
Medici Ermete- I Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco, NV – SRP $13.99- Grapes: Salamino Lambrusco, Marani Lambrusco
o Bright ruby red in color, the wine has a distinct violet scent. Dry yet fruity with fresh, pleasantly harmonious flavors and a lively effervescence.
o Delicious with grilled or cured meats and a variety of pasta dishes and cheeses.
i Quercioli – Reggiano Lambrusco D.O.C. Secco – Medici Ermete – 11% alcohol – $14
This is not a mimosa wine, would be closer to a bubbly sangria, but you could enjoy this for brunch
Color – deep dark rich – old world crimson, like the kind the vampire leaves on your neck.
This went lovely with our procuitto bombs. the two together made each so much better, a perfect pairing.
Nose – violets, chocolate, cherry, does not smell sweet, earthy, has a sophicitaed nose. anise and earth. easy to drink on its own, very pleasant earthy quality.
Palate: lovely little bubbles, nice not to fizzy or foamy, not like a soda pop, small champagne like or asti like bubbles. – similar body to a cider – very easy to drink – especially when cold.
Nice earthy qualities on the nose and the palette. A white sparkling wine does not have earthy. Someone who likes pinot noir might want to give this a chance. It is the forest floor, dense humid. pizza brought out the earthiness,
For the price this is a very nice wine, caramel, minty, blood orange on the finish.
2015 – Le Tenute – Solo – Reggiano – Medici Ermete – 11.5% alcohol – $20
Color – The densest of the three, you can’t see the bottom of the glass
Nose – grapes, you smell more fruit, earthy, and lovely,
Palate – the carbonation is more subtle – nice light bubbles – so lovely with the food of tonight. salty of the food, tames the fruitiness of the wine.
This can also be enjoyed on their own, They are lovely cocktail party wine. Low alcohol, and lovely flavors. Pair great with food and is refreshing on a hot summer day. You can have it before dinner with appetizers.
Concerto – Reggiano – 11.5% alcohol – $24 – $23
Color – as purple as a petite, beautiful magenta, florescent pink ring around a deep dark purple,
most foamy 0 seafomy
finish is like bitters in a positive way –
bubbles linger. the glass becomes coated in bubbles and legs, the bubbles make it to the back of your tongue.
Nose – minerals, most complexity, this wine is a different ball game from the other two, roses on the nose
Palate – cherries, cranberries, raspberries, bright fruit mixed with blueberries and boysenberries. Dark blue fruit on this , black currant,
Sue’s research to see what paired with the wines suggestions were rich fatty foods. strong cheeses. bechemal lasagne. Our 8 layer lasagne went beautifully with all of these wines.
We liked the Bell’Rose, Nice Citrus and with subtle rosemary; very nice nose.
1/2 oz Campari, 1/2 oz Lemoncello, chill over rocks in cocktail mixer glass. Strain into glass and add
1/0z Lambrusco and 1 oz citrus sparkling water. Garish with fresh fruit and mint sprig.
We liked our cocktail the best; we found that the Campari gave it great complexity.
For a different twist we used fresh lavender, ginger root, and lemon and muddled it in a cocktail mixer 1/2 oz Campari, 1/2 oz Limoncello, with ice and chill. Strain and add 1 oz Lambrusco and 1/oz ginger ale. Garnish with lavender bloom and lemon slice
- Here on Art Predator we present “Our New Favorite Summer Italian Wine: Lambrusco!”
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla brings us a “Quick Summer Dinner: Salumi, Formaggi, e Amarone”
- Jill at L’Occasion offers “Fresh Wines from Umbria and Lazio”
- Lauren at Swirling Dervish shares “Verdicchio and Vermentino – Italian White Wines Perfect for Summer”
- Jen of Vino Travels has “Italian Red Wines to Enjoy in the Summer”
Lambrusco surely got a bad wrap but as your discoveries show, it goes with so many things. Being more of a purist, the cocktails are a stretch but who knows, perhaps on a warm terrace in the sun! Look forward to the #ItalianFWT chat ;-D
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Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’ll give Lambrusco another try. Thanks for the inspiration.
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I’m determined to find a few bottles of Lambrusco – sounds like they would be perfect for the warmer weather and lighter foods of summer. As always, your spread looks delightful.
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The bottle styles are all so very different, as it seems the experience with each offered a great deal of possibility. I love the idea of re-discovering a wine that has fallen out of favor. It has been a bit since I’ve had Lambrusco, so I’ll get a few to sample this summer!
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I’m glad you featured lambrusco. There is so much variety in the different styles that are overlooked