Why You Should be Drinking Lambrusco

Lambrusco is fizzy red wine that people used to make fun of. Turns out, people are idiots.

January 3, 2017

By Michaela Morris

Are you a fan of red wine? What about bubbles? And do you like eating salami? Most importantly, do you want to feel happy? Surely there’s no shame in any of these.

Furthermore, if you answered yes to all of the above, then you should also be drinking lambrusco.

A family of related red grape varieties, the lambrusco clan is native to the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy’s cuisine mecca (think Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese). They produce frothy reds ranging from dry to off-dry and occasionally sweet. All offer mouth-filling mousse and jaunty acidity, both extremely useful in scrubbing the palate between enthusiastic bites of rich, hearty fare.

Lambrusco di Sorbara gives the palest and lightest wines but also the most intensely fragrant and lip-smackingly gulpable. At the opposite end of the spectrum, lambrusco grasparossa is brooding, dark in colour and flavours, and full-bodied with a decidedly tannic grip. The evocatively named lambrusco salamino (its cylinder-shaped bunches resemble the form of salami) bridges the two extremes with a medium weight and characterful expression. Whichever lambrusco you choose, it’s a guaranteed shortcut to putting a smile on your face.

Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Photo: Giovanni).
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Photo: Giovanni).

Our Favourite Lambrusco Wines (and What to Pair Them With):

Medici Ermete "Concerto" Lambrusco Reggiano 2014, $20

Medici Ermete “Concerto” Lambrusco Reggiano 2014, $20
Crafted from 100-percent lambrusco salamino, the Concerto explodes with raspberry and cherries. Dry, creamy and fleshy, it can easily take on tagliatelle in a rich Bolognese ragu.

Paltrinieri "Piria" Lambrusco di Sorbara, $22

Paltrinieri “Piria” Lambrusco di Sorbara, $22
This 70-percent Sorbara and 30-percent salamino blend has a pretty pink hue with gorgeous violet aromas, crunchy strawberry and tangy cranberry notes. Sheer bliss with a margherita pizza.

 

Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.