Lambrusco isn't a wine that shows up often on wine lists or menus, so if you're not a wine aficionado, chances are you haven't tasted it. This red has several distinct varieties, so tasting Lambrusco is always an adventure.
The red Lambrusco grape comes from Italy, and it produces wine of the same name. Lambrusco has a bad reputation for being too sweet and tasting like soda. That reputation came about in the 1970s when Lambrusco wine wasn't made as well as it is today, and due to this, many people are still hesitant to drink it. However, you can get high-quality, dry or slightly sweet Lambrusco, which almost always has an effervescent quality and is a delightful surprise for your palate.
The Types of Lambrusco You Must Try:
Four types of high-quality Lambrusco come from Italy, and if you get one of these varieties, you're sure to enjoy the wine in your glass. Each one comes from a slightly different Lambrusco grape, giving these wines distinct flavors.
Lambrusco di Sorbara is pink or rose in color, offering a dry taste and a fruity aroma. You'll notice hints of orange, cherry, violet and others when you inhale. Lambrusco Maestri is the type of Lambrusco you're likely to find made somewhere other than Italy, like Australia. Lambrusco Maestri has a bit of milk chocolate, and it has the softest bubbles of the bunch.
Lambrusco Salamino is more structured than Lambrusco di Sorbara, but at the same time, it has fruity aromas. Expect more tannins and some creaminess to this glass of wine. It's a little sweeter than some structured wines, and it's the sweetest Lambrusco you can buy. The sweetness and the tannins actually go very well together. Finally, you have Lambrusco Grasparossa, a bold wine with blueberry and black currant notes. The tannins are extreme, but the wine is also kind of creamy, definitely a wine for that person who only ever wants to drink red.
Pairing Lambrusco With Food:
Lambrusco holds up well when paired with red meat, especially Salamino and Grasparossa. Do them with hamburgers, braised ribs and other red meats with lots of spices. If you're having spicy sausage, definitely reach for a Grasparossa. The di Sorbara may not be quite right with those heavy red meats, but it's fantastic with spicy Asian food like Thai and Indian. It's also great with Parmesan and oregano cheese!