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Watch out Prosecco here come the Lambruscans!!

I was born in 76 and I am just old enough to remember my parents (not fervent wine drinkers by any stretch) occasionally putting a bottle of white Lambrusco in the shopping trolley in the early 80s.  It was the main stay of many a bad food and worse décor dinner party during the 70s and 80s and at its peak, sold over 100 million litres a year nationwide.

The naff sticky, sweet headache stuff of those heady days has always remained; you know the bottles, lurking on the bottom shelf in dodgy corner shops, the lower alcohol stuff ‘Lambrini’ is still very popular.  But, there is more to this misunderstood wine than meets the eye and true Lambrusco is having a long overdue revival!

So much so that even the Independent did an article on it back in June quoting the wine’s popularity in top west end bars and notable restaurant’s like Ottolenghi and Nopi.

You see there is a big difference between the bad stuff and the proper wine.  The sweet nasty Lambrusco of the 70s and 80s was mainly sugar, colouring, massively over cropped and chemical ridden juice, truck loads of sulphur and probably a little anti-freeze just to make sure you go completely blind after a cheap night on it so can’t find your way back to the shop to punch the owner who sold you the stuff.

The real wine hailing from the region of Emilia-Romagna (capital city Bologna) is an artisan, traditional, often organic and naturally made wine brimming with character, wild freshness, mouth tingling tannins and sexy, dry fruitiness.  When unsure of what to drink, it is the wine to drink!  In 2012 a US marketing campaign called it ‘the love child of wine and Champagne, an intoxicating union of tannin and fizz’, (nice description).  It can be red, dry and bursting with ripe fruit, pink, zingy and a great aperitif or even white, complex, with unique and beguiling flavours which would match high quality autumnal foods like truffle and game.

At  Buon Vino, we always consider ourselves a little bit pioneering, after all, we have been talking about (and trying to sell) natural wine for years.  Now, we are nuts for our Lambruschi.  My colleague Steve was lucky enough to spend 2 days at Vinitaly this year as a guest of the trade organisation of Emilia-Romagna and was literally watered night and day with the gentle fizz and crunchy fruit of the regions finest Lambruscan’s (that’s what I like to call the producers).  He is now mad on the stuff and is spreading the word.  It just takes a few bottles, the first one is surprising, the second, reassuring and by the fifth (not on the same night) you are hooked!

Why talk Lambrusco three weeks from Christmas?  Well, we reckon that although very pleasant and easy, some people are fed up with their Prosecco and are looking for something new and more interesting in their bubbles this year.  The answer comes from Emilia-Romagna and the answer is…….Lambrusco!

Get down to the shop on the weekend of 6th and 7th December and taste our range of 4 delicious Lambruschi.

Incidentally the wine much praised by the news article and the wine buyer at Ottolenghi is Radice Paltrineri; we have been selling it for years!

We also have plenty of other tastings throughout December so we hope to see you in store for a seasonal slurp at your local wine shop Buon Vino.  If we don’t, may I take this chance to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.  Cin Cin!

Rob Bagot