Lambrusco wine is one of the largest variations of a single classification of wine available. There is something for everybody with Lambrusco, it’s all about finding the right variation.
Join us as we uncover everything there is to know about Lambrusco wine. You’ll soon feel confident choosing the perfect variation for you.
What Is Lambrusco Wine?
Lambrusco wine is a type of wine made from the Lambrusco variety of grapes. As there are over 60 specific types of grapes in the Lambrusco variety it can be a wide selection!
Unlike other wines which stick to one overarching type, like a Merlot will almost always be a dry wine, Lambrusco takes another approach. Lambrusco is available in dry, semi-sweet and sweet, along with being available in sparkling and non-sparkling varieties. There is something for every wine drinker in Lambrusco red wine.
Where Is Lambrusco Wine From?
The Lambrusco variety of grapes originally comes from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and is one of the few grape varieties to have hardly stretched out of Italy. Today, Lambrusco grapes are grown in several vineyards in Italy, especially in the Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions.
There are a few smaller vineyards in Australia and Argentina, but lacking scale means that it is unlikely you would find an Australian or Argentinian bottle of Lambrusco at your local wine supplier. For the most part, when it comes to Lambrusco wines, Italian vineyards are the way to go.
How Is Lambrusco Wine Made?
Lambrusco is commonly offered as a sparkling wine, and as such falls close to the normal sparkling wine production process. Like any traditional red wine, the grapes are crushed and allowed to go through the first stage of fermentation while still in contact with the pulp and skins, this gives the wine its signature red colour.
After the fermentation is done, the wine is pressed to separate all the juices from the remaining solids and pulp. This is where sparkling and indeed Lambrusco wine differs from traditional red wine. Instead of going directly into the ageing process, the wine is taken through a second fermentation.
During this second fermentation, the wine is sealed, as the fermentation takes place, sugar turning into alcohol will result in CO2 emission. As the vessel is sealed, the pressure will not allow the CO2 to escape, resulting in a bubbly, sparkling wine. There are other methods used to create sparkling wine, however, this is the traditional and still most frequently used method to create Lambrusco in Italy.
What Does Lambrusco Wine Taste Like?
Lambrusco wine is a collection of different grapes grown in different regions and as such, can develop vastly different flavour profiles. For the most part though, expect to taste a majority of berry-like flavour, leaning to blackcurrant, strawberry and cherry flavours with notes of florals and even fruit.
Is Lambrusco A Sweet Wine?
Lambrusco wine can be the best sweet red wine, but not all of it is sweet. Lambrusco is one of the few categories of wine that can be sweet, semi-sweet or dry.
Be sure to pick your favourite when buying, as the range of different wines in the Lambrusco category is wide. It is worth noting that the best of the Lambrusco wine selection are generally dry to semi-sweet, but there are great sweet variations of this wine as well.
What Is The Alcohol Content Of Lambrusco?
Lambrusco red wine is generally on the low to medium side of alcohol content, averaging in the 10% to 12% range. There are exceptions to this, as some Lambrusco red wine has an alcohol content as high as 13%. Higher alcohol content Lambrusco is not common though, and it is considered best to stay within the 10% to 12% range.
How To Drink Lambrusco Wine
Lambrusco varies slightly from the red wine norm of serving temperatures, as Lambrusco prefers to be served slightly more chilled than other red wines. A temperature of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit or 13-15 degrees Celsius is ideal for this wine.
Once opened, if not finished, you can simply put the cork back in and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. After three days, oxidation may start to take place, which stands to ruin the wine.
What Food Does Lambrusco Wine Pair With?
Lambrusco tends to favour rich, unctuous and even at times fatty foods. This is the wine for the real treat meal.
Dry and semi-sweet Lambrusco will pair well with any meat but are at their best when paired with cured meats and rich cheeses. A charcuterie board with Italian meats like prosciutto and salami and some fantastic soft cheeses will be the perfect combo for Lambrusco.
For the sweet variant, rich and fruit-forward desserts like apple or cherry pie will be an incredible compliment. Other than the richness of flavour, Lambrusco will pair well with any red meat dish.
Is Lambrusco Wine Healthy?
The healthy nature of Lambrusco red wine will largely depend on which variation you are drinking. While all red wine contains a great level of antioxidants, the sugar levels will greatly depend on the style of your chosen Lambrusco. A sweet wine will always have more sugar than a dry Lambrusco wine
What Wine Is Similar To Lambrusco?
It is not straightforward to give direct similarities between other wines and Lambrusco, as Lambrusco has a lot of variations. We can however give some great similar wines depending on the style of Lambrusco wine you most enjoy.
- Dry wine – Blanc de noirs is a great dry to semi-sweet wine which is similar to some better Lambrusco wines. Made from Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes, blanc de noirs is some of the most expensive dry sparkling red wine available
- Semi-sweet – The blanc de noirs variety also caters great to the semi-sweet wines, offering some fantastic examples.
- Sweet – Brachetto d’Acqui is similar to the Lambrusco sweet offerings available. A remarkable sparkling sweet red, Brachetto d’acqui is made only from the Brachetto grape variety offering a very light, sweet and fruit-forward sparkling wine.
Next time you’re looking for a wine that’s a little bit different, grab a bottle of Lambrusco!