The Italian foodie fizz

Charcuterie board for Lambrusco

Lambrusco is going to be back in a big way this year. Now before you spit your coffee out, it’s worth bearing in mind many of your customers won’t have had any of the sickly sweet stuff that was around forty years ago. The next generation wants authenticity. As unlikely as it might sound Lambrusco is one of the most authentic Italian wines. If you want your wine list to stand out, then you need to consider Lambrusco.

Here are five reasons why:

1. It’s a really foody bubbly 

With its fruity punch and acidic bite, these raspberry and blackberry-laden wines are the perfect accompaniment to all sorts of porky products. Hams, salamis, chorizo and the like will shine when partnered with a glass of Lambrusco. As Eric Asimov of the New York Times puts it, ‘Despite the fear of sparkling reds, Lambrusco is a super value wine that goes great with food, particularly simple grilled meats, fatty salami, rich pasta sauces and cheeses. In return, it demands very little except to be understood for what it is. That sounds like a pretty good deal all around.’

2. In Italy, the locals drink it from a bowl

You can replicate the older generation in Emilia Romagna who drink their Lambrusco from a bowl, not a glass. According to Italian restaurant In Parma on Charlotte Place, this bowl is called a 'fojeta' in the local dialect. Drinking Lambrusco from a bowl plays up to the style's authenticity and heritage, something that's a huge draw for today's consumer. 

3. It’s really good value

Lambrusco is a wine for the people and hence even the top-end wines are accessible when it comes to price. Cheaper than most sparkling wines and under half the price of Champagne, expect to see most Lambruscos on a wine list at under £30 a bottle which makes it an affordable way to celebrate or just enjoy a something different.

4. There are three versions – dry, off-dry and sweet

Dry, medium and sweet, there’s something for everyone. All three styles aer born to match with food. A little dolce (sweet) with some tart raspberries and cream, amabile (medium) for spicy pasta dishes and secco (dry) to go with meat platters or pizza. 

5. It’s not a good way

This is a humble wine that’s all about conviviality and enjoying the experience rather than paying too much attention to complex notes of leather boots and chalky tannins. It’s fruity and fresh and utterly gluggable. Zeren Wilson, blogger and wine consultant wrote for Christie’s magazine, “The pleasure of drinking Lambrusco comes partly from its bubbles. This is not a wine to get too cerebral about, to start chin-stroking and analysing as you sip. It’s a wine to quaff and enjoy while crumbling chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano of the block.”

Bibendum lists three Lambruscos made by Cantina Cavicchioli – Secco, Amabile and Dolce.

20th April 2015

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