Sometimes too much of a good thing can turn out to be a bad thing. In the 1970s and 1980s, Lambrusco was selling like, well, only easy-drinking fizzy red wine could ever sell. But as the mass market wine sacrificed quality for quantity, wine connoisseurs of the world turned their discerning noses elsewhere. All we are left with are some rather dubious ads from the era. It looked like the game was up for Lambrusco.
Well, guess what. Lambrusco is back and in force. It is wearing black, it's even calling itself Rock (as in the Rock Otello Lambrusco from Ceci Wineries) and it is unashamedly fizzy. It also happens to be a rather great wine to enjoy a wide range of dishes with, especially its native Emilia-Romagna delicacies like salumi and Parmesan cheese.
Good Lambrusco is typically brightly acidic, semi-sparkling, dry, pleasantly tannic, with a strong flavour of cherry and dark berry fruit. However, Lambrusco can also be rosè or white. In fact, the first step towards appreciating Lambrusco is to realise that it is actually both a wine region and grape, and that grape (in a very confusing turn of events) can come in six different forms (or clones) grown in different sub-regions of Emilia Romagna. You then, somehow, get four DOCs (did I mention it’s confusing); Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro (big and dry), Lambrusco Reggiano (sweet, dry), Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce (grapes that resemble salami!) and the one considered the most prestigious, Lambrusco di Sorbara Rosso (light, intense berry flavours).
If you want to join the increasing number of Lambrusco fans the Ceci “Otello Nero di Lambrusco” is a great place to start. The first Lambrusco to gain the coveted “5 grappoli” from the Italian Sommelier Association, it truly surprises the palate. Dark tasty berries, sparkling with a flowery bouquet, smooth and imminently enjoyable. Lambrusco has nothing to be ashamed for it. It is the perfect Italian - knows how to enjoy life, many layers of complexity and true, ageless beauty.