Lambrusco Shines with Red Fizz and Fun #ItalianFWT

Lambrusco for Italian Food Wine and Travel
This month, our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group is celebrating the fizzy, fun wine of Emilia-Romagna: Lambrusco. Take a look farther down in this post for a whole bunch of great takes on Lambrusco from my Italian wine loving buddies!

Lambrusco’s Challenges
Wine lovers in the US seem to be totally unaware of Lambrusco, thanks to a single word: Riunite. Riunite is a cloying sweet version of cheap Lambrusco. Thanks to great promotion, it was a huge hit when introduced in the 1980’s.
Almost as quickly, the public became tired of the drink, with the conclusion that all Lambrusco was cheap, fizzy and overly sweet. What a shame! I do remember seeing the commercials on TV as a kid.

In recent years, quality Lambrusco producers have been working to rebuild the reputation of this delicious and fun wine. Made from one of several Lambrusco grapes, the wine is typically made into a sparkling wine by the Charmat (tank) method. There are white, rosato and red versions, and a variety of levels of residual sugar are offered. Secco (dry) Lambrusco can be spotted either by the word “secco” on the label, or by checking the %abv of the wine. Dry Lambrusco is required to be at least 11% abv.

Dry Lambrusco is fruity, fizzy and fun. It’s a charming change of pace out on the deck or up at the lake in the summer. Serve it lightly chilled with a wide variety of foods. It’s a great pizza wine!

Cleto Chiarli e Figli “Premium” Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco DOC ($18 at Solo Vino or here online) 11%abv
Eye: Clear, bright candy red.  Frizzante, with nice very fine bubbles
Nose: Clean, fresh red fruit, raspberries, but something just a bit earthy in the background.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity flavors. While dry, it tastes of a touch of sweetness, perhaps similar to a Brut level of sweetness. Fresh bright red fruit, fizzy, fruity, tart. Very nice! Serve with a bit of a chill.

Easy pizza night with Papa John’s and Cleto Chiarli & Figli Lambrusco

Regional Foods with Lambrusco
If you’re a fan of “What goes together grows together”, try it with foods from Emilia-Romagna, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mortadella, Prosciutto di Parma, and Balsamic Vinegar.

Some of the most coveted gourmet foods in Italy come from Emilia-Romagna, but the wines are underappreciated

Italian Food Wine and Travel Group Covers Lambrusco
Take a look below at all the great Lambrusco suggestions. If you see this note in time, please join our Lambrusco chat on Twitter on Saturday, June 1 at 10am CDT. Just search for #ItalianFWT.



24 Responses to “Lambrusco Shines with Red Fizz and Fun #ItalianFWT”
  1. culinarycam says:

    I poured that one, too – and am sharing it with #ItalianFWT, too – but the one that clinched it for me as a Lambrusco convert: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Castelvetro Vigneto Cialdini 2017. Can’t wait to read everyone else’s take and chat about this wine.

  2. outwines says:

    How awesome that you all are shining a light on this misunderstood bubbly! I re-discovered Lambrusco last summer and it’s been a staple in our fridge ever since. 🙂

  3. joyofwine says:

    The Cleto Chiarli Castelvetro (Grasparossa) is one of the top selling wines in the store I used to manage! People love it! Great tasting and so versatile with food! Thanks for making sure we know the difference between Riunite and NOT Riunite! Haha!

    • Thanks Marcia! Your comment threw me, I’ve had the Grasparossa Amabile and was surprised a sweet Lambrusco would be so popular. But I checked the website and there are several Cleto Chiarli Grasparossa wines!

  4. Lynda Seasly says:

    Loved the cameos by Otto and Julie!

  5. Pinny Tam says:

    Hate to tell you I was not legally allowed to drink when Riunite was popular back then :-). Great Lambrusco 101 video. Looks like the Cleto Chiarli e Figli “Premium” Lambrusco di Sorbara tastes great and is a text-book version what a traditional Lambrusco should be!

  6. wendyklik says:

    This seems to be the popular pick this month. I agree with you pizza pairing. I think the flavors of pizza is what made my pairing work so well.

  7. asiantestkitchen says:

    What a great video! With the background of a beautiful lake and cameos including a fluffy dog, it really captured the fun of Lambrusco and the frothy foam too!

  8. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    You and I were clearly on a similar page with our pairings this month. That Lini white is fun right? I’ve had it with sushi a couple of times. Nice addition with the video too.

  9. Jill Barth says:

    I love how the video turned out! and with a cameo from Otto 🙂 Looking forward to more of this content. Really cool, Jeff!

  10. Love the video – yours, that is! Clearly Otto knows what’s good – his timing is impeccable, arriving just as the wine is about to be poured.

  11. Love the video and also enjoyed that wine as well. You should try the Vigneto Cialdini. It was both mself and Cam’s top pick.

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