Lambrusco is basically the Suzanne Somers of bubbles: a sickly sweet and klutzy thing no one has really done since the 70s. But you know what? Bruno Mars is exclusively making disco songs and everyone I know is wearing bell bottoms to Coachella, so has anything really changed? Lambrusco has- its no longer a cough syrup sweet novelty. Italian winemakers have steered towards more dry, nuanced wines. Plus red bubbles hold up to a wide variety of Instagram filters. Here are three enertaining scenarios where it’ll work beautifully.
Like Queen Pen said, “Party ain’t a party till its ran all through.” And she obviously meant the charcuterie plate. I don’t care if its a baby shower, a parole celebration or an orgy. I need proscuitto or I’m out. Its like literally adding salt to the whole event. It makes people seem prettier and more interesting, as if they, too, were cured Italian meat. The zippy acidity and light effervescence of the wine cuts right through all that dank-dank fatty goodness. All but one of the Lambruscos hail from Emilia-Romanga, the Mecca of exquisite salumis such as Prosciutto di Parma, so you know this is a match made in heaven. Guiding Principle of My Life: pairing wines with its own home region’s cuisine is typically an easy way to find a real winner. They’ve been drinking the juice with their own wares for a long time. Trust ‘em. Added bonus- Emilia-Romagna is also home to Parmigiano-Reggiano in case you really want to fleece that board out…
When restaurant’s need to make money, they look to the beverage profit margin. So you think those bottomless mimosas they’re hawking Sunday morning are premium product? Neither the bubbles nor the Sunny Delight are worth the headache you’re gonna have by noon. Mimosas aren’t really master pairings with anything other than some quiches or Excedrin Migraine anyway. Try Lambrusco next time. While its actually frizzante and not fully sparkling, that light frothiness is just bubbly enough to make you feel posh and important as you discuss your dreams squeezed between oh so many tables of graphic designers and cocktail servers in oversized sunglasses. Indoors. Much like the salumi pairing, the high acidity and berry notes make a nice contrast to breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage, not to mention greasy chorizo or beef hashes that are all the hipster rage these days. And since most Lambruscos ring in under 10% alcohol, its a little easier to justify drinking in the morning.
Speaking of guilt-free day drinking, summer is almost here. As you scrub your grill/hibachi/George Foreman, send a do-boy to grab a bottle of Lambrusco. A combination of small market demand and a Euro that’s weaker than Denny’s coffee makes it a value buy right now. I’m talking $10-18 for a great bottle. Served slightly chilled, burgers, sausages, saucy ribs and even hearty summer veggies are going to be perfectly serviced by a glass or Red Solo cup full of Lambrusco. And let’s be honest, a chilled red bubbly wine is gonna be a total mind fuck to quite a few of your guests. And if you’re not fucking a couple minds, what’s the point of a party? This is a perfect backyard wine- something you can easily drink until the mosquitos come home.
So what do you look for at BevMo? There are many types of Lambruscos, but for versatile food pairing I suggest you stick with either Lambrusco di Sorbrara or Lambrusco Grasparossa. And I prefer the former as its lighter and can be substituted for a dense rose in a lot of scenarios. And, always make sure you are getting a secco, which is Italian for dry, otherwise you may end up with a bottle of Dimetapp. I declare the summer of 2015 to be the return of red bubbles and the Thighmaster. I wish you all Lambrusco and thigh gaps till Labor Day.