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01 Nov 2018 | Samantha Dugan

Are You Hip Enough for the Old School?

“Ruinite on ice, that’s nice” One of those pop jingles that stick with people.  But today, where’s the Ruinite?  After re-visiting the red, slightly sparkling semi-sweet Lambrusco a few years back, I knew where the Ruinite was, in its rightful place in hell.  Collecting dust on the shelves of corner liquor stores and your local Walgreen’s next to the 5-liter boxes of Franzia Blush Rose.  


Ruinite Lambrusco was once America’s top selling import because it was fruity, easy to drink, bubbly and honestly, that was it.  For many of us it defined the genre, which, unfortunately, kept us from learning what truly great Lambrusco could taste like.


Well, our wine culture has come a very long way since then, and consumers are demanding more authentic expressions in all their wines.  Smaller import companies have been discovering much more interesting, fun wines to try, and let me tell you, we now have some of the coolest Lambruscos available.


The Coolest Lambruscos

Just a quick refresher.  Lambrusco hails from the east-central part of northern Italy and is both a part of the grape name and designation of the areas which they are grown.  The range of styles vary wildly from bone dry, dark frothy red, to pale and dry and then on to the sweeter versions.  The wines are often served with charcuterie plates and cheeses but as the wines have become more serious and exacting the food options are pretty diverse.  


For instance, I love a nice cold, slightly fruity Lambrusco with dim sum, and this one drives Randy a little nuts, I think that style is also damn delicious with Thanksgiving dinner. It comes off like a thicker and more flavor intense red to serve in place of Beaujolais, but it is still not oaked up or too heavy.  The drier wines are gorgeous with duck, dark meat chicken, grilled meats and of course, cured meats and cheeses.


There is a huge resurgence of interest in these fun sparkling reds, just ask any sommelier or wine nerd, we are flipping our lids and popping corks like crazy!


This summer we were visited by Francesco Gibellini, family winemaker for Tenuta Pederzana, a tiny estate in Emilia Romagna that has been family owned for 80 years. He brought with him his entire line of small production, very high-quality Lambrusco, all made from the Lambrusco Grasparossa grape, and Kevin and I were captivated. We placed a pre-order for the wines and had to wait months to get them, but they’re here now and we are beyond excited to offer them just in time for the holidays!

2016 Tenuta Pederzana Gibe

Lambrusco Grasparossa Di Castelvetro

Okay, first of all the packaging here is just as playful as the wine is! This wine is exceptionally floral on the nose with bright, delicate fruit all over lacy textured body. This is picnic wine that you will want more than one bottle on hand of because it is so wickedly easy to drink. (Only 1,250 cases made)

$13.99 per bottle


2007 Tenuta Pederzana Puntamora

Lambrusco Grasparossa Di Castelvetro

This is one of the most intriguing Lambrusco I have ever had. Purposely aged to give the wine more complexity and it has that is spade. Deep layers of dark, dried berries and cherries with a super intense color and some tannic structure. There are flavors that remind me of the Fall here and it makes me crave something braised and rich to eat with it. (Only 1,250 cases made)

$18.99 per bottle


2015 Tenuta Pederzana Cantolibero

Lambrusco Grasparossa Di Castelvetro

What an incredibly graceful and vibrant Lambrusco this is. Coco, red fruit and dried herbs and black pepper give this Lambrusco tons of character and the polished but deep mouth feel make you wish you were already drinking your next glass. Captivating and utterly crave inducing. (Only 1,250 cases made)

$21.99 per bottle


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