Lambrusco… One of the many joys of Emilia Romagna!

A night with Lambrusco is always a fun one! This lively Frizzante (slightly fizzy) wine is food friendly and is produced in the Italian wine region of Emilia Romagna. Lambrusco is one of the oldest grape varietals dating back to Roman times with a very big history. For a while, it did not have the best reputation, but its popularity is increasing and its loyal followers continue to enjoy its wonderful taste. It pairs well with seafood dishes, some spicy food items, pizza, and Italian meats and cheeses. I especially like Lambrusco with Prosciutto which also comes from a city called Parma in the Emilia Romagna region.
I love to share Lambrusco with my sweeter wine loving friends because they almost always choose a Moscato or a Riesling Spatlese. I like to steer them in the direction of Lambrusco for a change because of this wine’s sweet nature and friendliness when pairing with food or fun. The name Lambrusco is not only the name of the wine, but of the grape varietal as well. This wine is relatively low in alcohol, very approachable, and can stand alone as an aperitif also. There are varying levels of dryness and sweetness to Lambrusco, despite popular belief that all Lambrusco is sweet.

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This wine is Ruby colored with violet hues and aromas of raspberry, ripe strawberry, and cherry. On the palate this wine dances on your tongue with fizz, berries, and sweetness; it’s light but well balanced. This Riunite Lambrusco in particular was on the sweeter side which is why it paired beautifully with the dishes chosen. With only 8% alcohol, it was a great weeknight wine and went well with my plate of smoked gouda cheese, brie, prosciutto, and toasted wheat crackers. For dinner, I made angel hair pasta, sautéed garlic butter shrimp, with caramelized onions, peppers, and some cayenne pepper for a little spice. The pasta was topped off with some grated parmesan cheese and lemon olive oil. I didn’t want to limit this fun wine to just one dish which is why I choose more of a cheese plate to start and lighter pasta for dinner. The wine pairs well with seafood and also some spice so the cayenne pepper was a nice touch to the shrimp.

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Thanks to my friends at Banfi I was able to try this wine among many others you have seen written about and will read about in future blogs. For more information on Banfi Vintners and this particular wine along with many more, you can visit their fantastic site! http://www.banfiwines.com/winery/riunite

Have a great Wine Wednesday!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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