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!