Me: “Hey Honey, I’ll be home a bit late tonight, I’m attending a Lambrusco seminar!”
Hubby: “Lambrusco? That cheap ass wine from the gas station?”
Me: ” Yes! But it’s a wine for the people. It’s meant to be enjoyed, not overpriced.”
That was the actual conversation prior to the wine seminar I attended earlier this week. Jeremy Parzen Ph.D., one of my favorite wine bloggers, hosted a Lambrusco centric seminar for a small group of wine lovers at Vinology Houston. As an 80’s baby (actually 90’s) I love to hear about things that were “hot” before my time. Especially when the “hotness” is slated to make a comeback.
Dr. Parzen (lol) hand-selected three varieties from Emilia-Romagna for us to dissect. Though, I prefer to live by the motto of “drinking what you like, when you like,” it’s quite possible that I may add Lambrusco to my line up. The gist of the seminar was mash up of information about Emilian culture, communism and pot – at least those were the 3 “big rocks” for me.
Though Lambrusco didn’t become hugely popular in the United States until the late 1970s-1980s, it’s the world’s oldest wine. Reaching a high of over 13 million cases exported to the U.S. back in 1985. Due to the wine’s high acidity, tannin levels and sweet berry flavors, it easily translates to a “classy” wine cooler.
Given Lambrusco’s palatable nature, it easily lives up to its moniker as the “wine for the people.” The three Lambrusco options we sampled were: Puianello Lambrusco Emilia, Cantina della Volta and Lini Lambrusco Rosso Reggiano. Each of these wines maintained their own, unique profiles. Most noteworthy was the Lini Lambrusco Rosso (lambrusca) which happened to be my favorite. Mainly because it was more reminiscent of the wines I drink in my real life.
First of all the color had me sold. As an avid lover of Bordeaux, I instantly fell in love with its deep purple hue. The labrusca was less “fizzy” and seemed to contain less sugar. Actually, I have no idea if it in fact contains less sugar, but it wasn’t as sweet as the other two. Last point is the price. Lambrusco is super cheap, with all 3 of these wines coming in under $20 bucks!