Few wines have risen from the ashes of being-seen-as-crap to being-awesome quite like Lambrusco. In the 20th century the wines were most often thought of (at least here in Oz) as being overly sweet reds, based on the wines available here at the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They are a diverse selection of wines full of personality.
One of the strengths of Lambrusco is that they are perfect for so many occasions. They are incredibly varied wines and particularly good to match with food. They can have enough body to match richer dishes while fresh enough for lighter meals. Plus they have enough fizz to be drunk on their own on a summer’s day.
Lambrusco comes from Emilia-Romagna in Italy, in particular the regions of Reggio and Modena. The wine is generally made in the Charmat method, wherein the secondary fermentation takes place in tank. However we find many of favourite producers moving towards secondary fermentation in bottle.
The wines run the full spectrum of colours, depending on the grape variety used. From dark red to pink and orange. The wines can have a touch of sweetness or be completely dry. The best are always interesting.
There are many different varieties used in Lambrusco, most of them with the word “Lambrusco” firmly fixed to the front of the name. A few key grapes are:
Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce
There are 8 different variation appellations that Lambrusco can fall under based on grape variety and location, to be honest however we largely ignore those and focus on the producer.
A quick note on serving Lambrusco. Bigger glasses are better than a classic sparkling flute and not as cold as a standard sparkling. Think slightly colder than a chilled red.