Lambrusco .. Seriously

The last time someone gave me a bottle of Lambrusco, she was 82, it was a 1.5 liter jug, and it cost about a nickle. I thanked her kindly, and promised her I’d let her know how it as. Secretly, I hoped to leave the state before I saw her again, never having to admit it went right down the drain. So when my friend, and newly Certified Sommelier Kirk told me to throw this bottle in the fridge and try it one night, I was a bit taken aback. This is someone who a year ago helped me pick three killer wines for my CBS 12 Thanksgiving segment. Surely, he’s lost his marbles.

Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dell'Emilia

Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dell’Emilia

I’m happy to report Kirk still has his marbles, and the wine wasn’t half bad. The Cavicchioli family has been making this wine since 1928, hence the label, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It’s made with three grapes, sorbara, grasparossa and salamino.  You have to go in knowing this is a simple wine.

The $8  Cavicchioli Family Lambrusco Dolce won’t stand up to bold pasta or grilled meat dishes. It’s not meant for that. Think of this as a perfect backyard sipper. It’s meant to be served chilled, and it’s semi-sweet palate of black cherry and cola will pair well with an antipasta dish, some appetizers, and some desserts. This may actually be the red wine for your chocolate pairing needs. The wine is frizzante, which means it has a light effervescence quality, and though the palate is fresh fruit and cola, there is an earthy, rustic component to the flavors that says old world.

This budget focused red wine ties in perfectly with my CBS 12 television segment with Suzanne Boyd. It’s pretty short, and gives you some other wines under $10 to try.

You can check out the article Suzanne mentioned in the clip that has more budget focused wines. Then, let me know when the last time you had Lambrusco was. And if you haven’t tried it, I’d love for you to grab a bottle and let me know what you think. Just leave a comment below.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lambruscoday Lambrusco Day

    “The Cavicchioli family has been making this wine since 1928, hence the label.” :) They’ve been making WINE since 1928. :)

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Glad you stopped by! I must have read the information too quickly. It indeed may be the case they did not make this Lambrusco starting in 1928! Good catch, and thanks again for coming by!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lambruscoday Lambrusco Day

    For sure! :) Emilian’s century old food (parmigiano reggiano, aceto balsamico, prosciutto di parma, etc.) and wine traditions have never included wines that resembled “cherry cola”. :) The prefered style of Lambrusco in and around Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena continues to be ‘secco’ (bone dry to off-dry). :)

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Thank you! As I mentioned in the post, it’s a wine I rarely drank. And it does seem that everyone I speak with tells me when they do have it, they have it in this style. And usually as a “spritzer”. I’ll need to try other options and do a comparative post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lambruscoday Lambrusco Day

    Yes! :) When Emilians talk “Lambrusco” they mean ‘secco’ – never amabile (sweet/very sweet) or dolce (very sweet/super sweet). What was sold as “Lambrusco” outside of Emilia in the 80′s was made in vast quantities to importers/exporters carefully calculated specifications (dolce, 3% – 10% alc., red and white). If the style (secco, semisecco, amabile, dolce) is not listed on the label the wine will always be sweet. Regardless of style all real Lambruscos have a minimum of 11% alcohol.