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The Fizzyology of Lambrusco

082015aOne of the sessions at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference was The Fizzyology of Lambrusco. Bill Whiting, Director of Wine Education for Banfi Vintners presented the wines and talked about the region of Italy. Lambrusco is a slightly sparkling red wine from the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy. Emilia-Romagna is sandwiched between Toscana to the south and Lombardia and Venito to the north. The Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is planted with 187,000 acres of grapes, and is lovingly referred to as Italy’s stomach because of the great food and easy drinking wines that match the food.

The tasting focused on two wineries, one in Riunite and Albinea Canali and four wines made from a grape variety in the Lambrusco family. Lambrusco was a wild vine that became domesticated. Lambrusco wines have the polyphenols that help break down fat, and make these wine pair so well with the cheeses and meats from this region. In the Lambrusco family of grapes, there are13 different varieties. We tasted several of these varieties in the four wines featured during the presentation.

082015bThe first two wines were from Albinea Canali. The FB – Methodo Ancestral, IGT Albinea Canali was made with Lambrusco Corbara grapes. The dark pink colored wine was slightly effervescent and offered red berry fruits on the aroma and taste. This easy-to-drink wine paired well with the hard cheese offered during the tasting. The FB refers to “fermentation in bottle” an indication of the traditional method of making a sparkling wine.

The second wine from Albinea Canali was the Ottocentro Nero, IGT, Albinea Canali. This wine was a blend of Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa and a non-Lambrusco variety Lancellotta. This inky colored wine reminded me of black raspberries with a touch of fizz. It was very dry and crisp.

Two wines were tasted from the producer Riunite. Lambrusco Ros?, Cantine Riunite was a blend of Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco Marani. The pink colored wine was perfect to pair with a rocking chair on a porch. It offered floral and red berry fruit notes. During the tasting, the wine was matched with soft cheeses from the Emilia-Romagna region.

The Riunite Lambrusco, Cantine Riunite was a blend of Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Marani, lambrusco Monteericco, Lambrusco Salamino and Lancellotta. The dark ruby colored wine had black berries and black cherries on the aroma and taste. It was slightly bubbly and paired well with the cheeses.

082015cBill did present one additional wine from Banfi. The Bell’Agio Lambrusco Emilia, IGT was blended with Lambrusco Grasparossa and Lambrusco Salamino. This black colored wine was slightly fizzy and was reminiscent of raspberries, both black and red. It matched well with the meats and cheeses.

The Lambrusco wines were slightly fizzy and had lower alcohols in the 6% to 9% range. They would make perfect afternoon wines to pair with fatty snacks when you need that afternoon “pick me up.”


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