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Lambrusco: The Party in a Bottle You Need to Try under $25

CorkRules | Mar 29, 2024


Forget everything you think you know about sweet, syrupy wines. Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region that’s as light and bubbly as a summer day.

The Lowdown on Lambrusco

Lambrusco comes in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet, and red to rosé. But unlike its fancy cousin Prosecco, Lambrusco tends to have a lower alcohol content and a fizz that’s more playful than palate-cleansing.

What Makes Lambrusco Different?

Lambrusco is made using a method called Charmat, where the second fermentation (which creates the bubbles) happens in large tanks instead of individual bottles. This keeps the price tag down, making Lambrusco a super affordable option – we’re talking around $15 to $30 a bottle!

So, What Does it Taste Like?

Lambrusco’s flavor profile can vary depending on the type, but generally you can expect a fruity taste with hints of cherry, plum, and sometimes even violet. There’s a touch of sweetness too, but not enough to make your teeth ache.

Lambrusco Food Pairings

Lambrusco’s versatility is another reason to love it. It’s perfect for an aperitif, or pair it with lighter fare like pasta dishes, grilled pizza, or even cured meats. Feeling fancy? Sparkling wine and chocolate is a classic pairing, and Lambrusco’s subtle sweetness makes it a great match for dark chocolate.

The Perfect Summer Sipper

With its light, refreshing taste and easy-going bubbles, Lambrusco is the ideal wine for kicking back and enjoying some warm weather. So next time you’re at the wine store, ditch the usual suspects and grab a bottle of Lambrusco. Your taste buds (and your wallet) will thank you!

Check out these staff favorites:

Medici Ermete - Lambrusco Reggiano Concerto 2020 - $22.99

The Medici Ermete winery was founded in 1938 in Sorbara, in Modena’s Lambrusco DOC zone. It is one of the most respected producers of Lambrusco in Italy [2]. This particular bottle is a Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy

The Wine Itself

Concerto Lambrusco is a single-vineyard Lambrusco made from the Lambrusco Salamino grape. The wine undergoes a second fermentation in large pressurized tanks, which gives it its signature bubbles. The Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano 2020 is a DOC wine, meaning it meets the strict quality standards set out for Lambrusco from Reggio Emilia.

What it Looks Like

Concerto Lambrusco is a bright ruby red color.

Aromas and Flavors

The Concerto Lambrusco has a fruity nose with aromas of black cherry, plum, and violets. On the palate, the wine is dry and refreshing with flavors of red berries and a touch of spice. The bubbles are light and playful, making it a very easy-drinking wine.

Food Pairings

Concerto Lambrusco’s versatility makes it a great food pairing wine. It’s perfect for an aperitif, or pair it with lighter fare like pasta dishes, grilled pizza, or cured meats. Because of its subtle sweetness, it’s also a great match for dark chocolate.

Saetti - Rosso Dell Emilia Viola Lambrusco 2022 - $23.99

100% Lambrusco Salamino (a particular sub-variety of Lambrusco known for thick skins, dark color, high acidity and tight bunches). Certified-organically farmed, hand-harvested fruit from 50-year-old vines, crushed and spontaneously fermented in small steel tanks. Fermentation is spontaneous and is taken to complete dryness. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, initiated by the addition of fresh grape must. The bottles are hand-riddled and -disgorged. No sulfur is added at any stage of the process, and the grapes are grown in full respect of nature.

Luciano Saetti makes stunning, evocative Lambrusco just outside of Modena. He is of a generation that decided to return to traditional methods and eschew modern practices that contributed to Lambrusco's poor reputation. The 2.8 hectares of vines he works were planted by his family in 1964. Prior to his taking over, they sold off most of their fruit to the local coop.

Luciano, however, thought that they could do better and so after a successful first career as an egg distributor in Modena, he founded Vigneto Saetti in 1998. He saw the value in the family’s old vines of a particular local strain of the Lambrusco grape called Salamino di Santa Croce. It’s thick-skinned, tight-bunched, darker-colored and higher in natural acidity than some other more common varieties of Lambrusco. 

Lambrusco is a crisp, dry wine that pairs well with Italian food, fried foods, hearty meats, and salty cheeses. It's best served chilled at around 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can refrigerate it for about an hour before serving.

Enjoy!! Cin cin!!


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