Classic Apertivo from Emilia-Romagna #ItalianFWT

Lambrusco Celebration with Italian Food, Wine and Travel Bloggers
This month, our #ItalianFWT blogging group is celebrating Lambrusco, that fun fizzy red wine from Emilia-Romagna. High quality Lambrusco is light years away from Riunite for those of you who remember it, so come along with our group as we explore all things Lambrusco! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a list of links to all our bloggers’ Lambrusco discoveries.

Lambrusco 101
Lambrusco is a sparkling wine from the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. It’s made from one of several Lambrusco grape varieties and is typically a red or rosato color, although a few are white. The grapes are first fermented into a relatively low alcohol, high acid wine. Second fermentation for the development of the bubbles is typically made by the Charmat or tank method in which the base wine has a sugar source added as well as yeast. The tank is sealed so the fermentation produces additional alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide has no where to go, so it goes into solution as the natural carbonation for the wine. Lambrusco wines can be fully sparkling, Spumante, or lightly sparkling, Frizzante. Look for a Lambrusco that has over 11% abv for the higher quality, dry versions.

Vigneto Saetti
Luciano Saetti started his winery back in 1998, though his family has been farming grapes in the region for much longer. He farms only 2.8 hectares (a little less than 7 acres) of certified organic grapes. The family takes great pride in minimal intervention in both the vineyard and winery, and over time has been able to produce their wines without the addition of sulfur dioxide. Their Lambruscos are made in the traditional method with second fermentation performed in the bottle, using grape must as the sweet agent along with yeast. The wines are disgorged after fermentation is complete and the wines have rested on their lees for several months. No sulfur dioxide is added at disgorgement and final sealing. Operating without preservatives can be risky as spoilage is more likely, however, the purity of flavors is also more noticeable, perhaps worth the risk!

Vigneto Saetti
Eye: Medium ruby with gentle, frizzante bubbles
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of ripe blueberries, blackberries, earth, leather, balsamic, a bit of volatile acidity
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, medium plus flavor intensity, medium finish with a touch of bitterness. Flavors follow the aromas with the addition of a bit of bitterness, reminiscent of radicchio.
Observations: This wine shows as a nice Lambrusco, with a noticeable note of volatile acidity. Julie didn’t care for it, I found it an interesting element.

Emilia-Romagna Apertivo
Apertivo is that great time in the afternoon, after work but before dinner. Stop at a wine bar and enjoy a glass of Lambrusco with your friends and a few bites of something local and delectable. In Emilia-Romagna, that might include Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella (American bologna is a pale imitation), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, some high quality Balsamic vinegar and perhaps some local olives. Try it yourself, see if you can find some good quality Italian products from your local deli – especially those from Emilia-Romagna, and a bottle of Lambrusco. Celebration!

Links to other Lambrusco Discoveries
Curious about Lambrusco? It’s definitely worth a trip to your local wine shop. Take a look at our posts below for some ideas to help guide your search. Why not join our Lambrusco chat on Saturday June 5 from 10-11am CT? Just search for us with the #ItalianFWT tag on Twitter, we’ll be looking for you!

Comments
11 Responses to “Classic Apertivo from Emilia-Romagna #ItalianFWT”
  1. What an interesting wine. Like you I wouldn’t have expected a cork for sparkling. And cloth labels? I think that’s cool! Great video Jeff, and wine bubbles sound delightful!

  2. robincgc says:

    I love the cloth labels! I had an ancestral method Lambrusco with a similar cork. I love that you found a small producer (2.8 hectares, WOW), and that they are low intervention. At my house our Lambrusco had a similar response. I really enjoyed it, Michael? Not so much. I never mind that he doesn’t like bubbles, it leaves more for me!

  3. wendyklik says:

    Lambrusco is a perfect appetizer wine and your platter looks very inviting with that glass of sparkling accompanying it.

  4. Susannah says:

    Jeff your aperitivo looks delightful and that’s a great version of Lambrusco. So much fun drinking these easy to pair wines. I love your Lambrusco 101 too. I didn’t remember that about his labels. It’s so wonderful to see producers all over the country who focus on organically growing their grapes. No sulfur is risky for sure but in the right hands, it can be done.

  5. Ah yes aperitivo — a more advanced happy hour… sounds lovely by the lake! And yes I’ve found some lovely Lambrusco that require a corkscrew to unleash the bubbles…

  6. Deanna says:

    I didn’t know that aperitivo was the time after work but before dinner. Sort of like Italian happy hour. I love the idea of drinking lambrusco during that time and then having a different wine with dinner. Thanks for doing the video! Love being able to hear the pronunciation of the Italian names and seeing that unusual peel off fabric label. Really brings the bottle to life, and it’s so well done!

  7. Lynn says:

    Great double surprise, definitely the first time I’ve seen a cloth label, very creative. Have you ever sabered a bottle of Lambrusco?

  8. Under the Influence says:

    Thanks for such an interesting introduction to Lambrusco as an aperitivo. Italians also drink Lambrusco with meals, but mostly in the Emilia-Romagna region where it goes with the local cuisine. Strictly speaking the term “aperitivo” refers to the drink, not to the snacks that are eaten with it. This is the case throughout Italy, whether the aperitivo is a vermouth, a prosecco, a Campari and soda, a “spritz” or other mildly alcoholic drink to stimulate the appetite. Cin-cin!

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