Taste: Light and refreshing with aromas of red berries and violets, followed by flavors of fresh strawberries, red cherries and a satisfying bitter almond twist on the finish.
Age: Drink as soon as possible after release.
Other: These wines are frizzante, slightly fizzy. Traditional Lambrusco is dry, called Secco in Italian (Amabile is medium-sweet and Dolce is sweet). Lambrusco wines are relatively low in alcohol. Only buy bottles with a cork, not a screw cap.
Lambrusco (lahm-BROOS-sko) is the name of both a grape variety, and the wine made from it, in the Emilia-Romagna region of central Italy. This grape variety has a long history going back to Roman times and consequently there are many sub-varieties.
The first thing to note about Lambrusco wine is that there are basically two types: traditional Lambrusco which is dry, fruity, refreshing, sealed with a cork stopper and produced for local consumption; and secondly a mass-produced, bland, sweetened wine sealed in screw-capped bottles for the export market. Always select the former, so look for a cork and not a screw cap.
The second point to note is that Lambrusco is what the Italians call frizzante, slightly fizzy, but not quite sparkling – which they call spumante. This gives the wines an additional refreshing quality. Lambrusco is a great food wine and has been developed over time to match local cuisine. While basically a simple wine its appeal lies in its light, fresh and flavorsome character.
Aromas of red berries and violets are followed by flavors of fresh strawberries, red cherries and a refreshing, slightly bitter, almond twist on the finish. The best wines are very attractive, relatively low in alcohol, and all are made for immediate consumption, as they taste best soon after release.
White Lambrusco, called Lambrusco Bianco, is also made from these red grapes by removing the skins immediately after pressing. Some Rosé is also made.
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