Italian wine: Emilia Romagna and the Lambrusco of Today
- WTI Magazine #116 Jun 15, 2019
Today we will be exploring lambrusco from the region of Emilia Romagna. I'm thrilled to be hosting and featuring lambrusco this month as I don't think it gets enough attention that it deserves. It's a shame that some of these wines including lambrusco, pinot grigio etc. face tarnished images from the days of when the quality was low and the focus was more on quantity. Gone are those days of low quality as there are wineries doing great things and putting lambrusco back on the map.
Emilia Romagna is located in northern Italy bordering Tuscany and Le Marche to the south and Lombardy, the Veneto and Liguria to the north. There are 5 noteworthy DOC sub zones within Emilia Romagna where lambrusco is produced including: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Reggiano, Salamino di Santa Croce, Lambrusco di Modena.
Each sub-zone produces a different style of lambrusco that I've highlighted previously. You'll find lambrusco produced in different styles that may be labeled as spumante (sparkling), frizzante (semisparkling), amabile (semisweet) and dolce (sweet). Many of what is remembered from the past falls into the amabile category, but there are beautiful dry versions showing the true potential of this wine.
An interesting discovery from my studies during my certification program was that lambrusco was a "wild vine" that grew in the brughi, or water canals/ditches, in the plains and fields of southern Emilia Romagna. It's a cross between the classic vitis vinifera vines and "wild" species vitis sylvestris.
Besides lambrusco, Emilia Romagna also provides many gastronomic delicacies. Home to balsamic vinegar, aceto balsamico tradizionale, tortellini, parmigiano-reggiano and prosciutto di Parma to name a few. There is a reason they say what grows together goes together. There is nothing like a cheese and fresh meats board with some parmigiano, prosciutto and a glass of lambrusco. Cin cin! Don't forget Emilia Romagna is also home to Ferrari, Maserati and the amazing Luciano Pavarotti. This region has something to offer for everyone.