Don't laugh, don't cringe... just keep reading, because hopefully by the end of this article I've changed the way you think about Lambrusco... The wines will do the rest!
When you think about Lambrusco you probably think one of two things. If you're over the age of 40 you'll probably say urgh yuk, that sweet red crappy wine that comes in a cask or if you're under the age of 40 you'll most likely to say what the hell is Lam-brus-co. Well truth is not many people know about it, where it comes from, how it's made or HOW GOOD IT IS!!! So let's clear the air.
Lambrusco is a rose or red sparkling wine. It is home in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna* around the townships of Modena and Reggio Emilia. There are 6 different classifications (DOCs) of Lambrusco in the region (see map below) of which 3 are of the utmost importance in my mind: Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco di Sorbara.
These 3 regions also reflect the name of the grape variety grown in their respective area: Grasparossa, Salamino and Sorbara.
THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN DRINKING A PALTRINIERI LAMBRUSCO ON A HOT SUMMER'S DAY.
They can be enjoyed on their own but are also one of the most versatile food wines I've ever come across. They work well with a range of foods, from cured meats and cheese to poultry and game, salads and vegetables, and pretty much everything else in between.
THE PALTRINIERI LAMBRUSCO'S ARE LIKE HAVING FRATERNAL TWINS... EVERYONE HAS A FAVOURITE BUT YOU LOVE THEM BOTH EQUALLY.
Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Leclisse
Leclisse is a Lambrusco made in the more modern charmat method of production, where instead of the secondary fermentation occuring in bottle (like Champagne), it occurs in a tank and is then bottled. The result is a consistent and persistent frizzante wine, rose in colour. It's dry with delicate strawberry fruits and a trademark Sorbara line of acidity keeping it fresh and alive on the palate.
Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Radice
Radice is a Lambrusco made in the traditional or ancestral method for the region. It undergoes it's secondary fermentation in the bottle (like Champagne) but it doesn't spend time on lees (unlike Champagne) so it retains it's vitality and freshness. Radice is also pale pink in in colour like the Leclisse. You can expect the wine to be fun, vicarious and a little leaner than the Leclisse.