Lambrusco the sparkling red wine

It’s that time of year when we start to see the outside temperature get cooler, the leaves on the trees start to change color, and the days get slightly shorter. And this is when I start to shift from cool, crisp white and rosé wines to warming, spicy red wines. However, this is also a time to enjoy sparkling red wines, which make the transition even smoother!

You might be thinking…”sparkling red wine? that does not sound good”. Well, actually they are delicious! I am pretty sure you would be pleasantly surprised.

Just so you know what a sparkling red would be… it’s most commonly a Sparkling Shiraz from Australia or Lambrusco from Italy. And for me, I like both, but prefer Lambrusco. And I have no problem confessing my love for Lambrusco. I’m not even sure when or where it happened! It might have been while visiting Italy a few years ago or it could have been at a wine tasting as I often look for what’s different and unusual (Don’t forget, I’m still learning and discovering wine – you can never know it all!).

Lambrusco is not produced throughout Italy. It’s grown and produced only in Emilia-Romagna (you can see the region on this map).

lambrusco map

So, what can you expect from a glass of Lambrusco? Well, imagine a slightly sparkling (frizzante) rich red wine. It’s cool and refreshing, yet full of energy, with layers and texture. Some are fruit forward, some are savoury and some have a bit of both with tannin and acidity. Usually medium body and it can be enjoyed on its own, but pairs nicely with pasta, antipasti and charcuterie (this one is my favourite pairing!). And Lambrusco is considered to be the oldest grape variety in Italy. It was made long ago to be fun and approachable – and it still is today. Doesn’t that make you want to try it now?!


Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco is a light coloured, lighter body lambrusco


I recently tasted these 3 lambrusco’s. Camillo Donati on the left is a fruit forward, easy to drink, light style. The middle one is Rinaldini Vecchio Moro, a deep, rich, bold style with tannins to match – definitely meant to go with food. The one on the far right is Rinaldini Pjcol Ross, it’s a medium style with layers of earthy goodness and fruits. All 3 are naturally made lambrusco’s and all 3 are different and delightful.

It just goes to show, you need to start tasting various Lambrusco producers as they can all be different and fun!

Suggested pairing: Friends and pizza. :o)

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