Wine Review: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Cantina di Sorbara, Amabile

Shopping for something bubbly for a friend's New Year's Eve party, I was looking over at the various champagnes and sparkling wines, in the mood for something different. As a beginning wine drinker, my palate hasn't developed to appreciate the dry champagnes and wines that seem to be in vogue. I still wanted a wine that was sweet but not a dessert wine. I happened to look at some sparking wines from Italy and noticed that one particular cache had only one bottle left. Immediately I thought, oh well this has to be popular so I took a look at it. The sparking wine was called Lambrusco di Sorbara and saw the D.O.C. designation which meant that it was a true wine of Italy from a region that was know for Lambrusco. I also noticed that the label stated Demi Sparkling Red Wine, which I remembered meant that it was slightly sweet. Well, that was good enough for me.

I brought it to the party to share and I eagerly opened the bottle and poured. First off, Lambrusco is a red, fizzy wine instead of sparkly, white wine like champagne. The color is a very deep red. I swirled it in the glass, and the aroma was appetizing! It smelled fruity, like a whiff of cherries. I took a sip and I found it to be light, tasty and refreshing. It was slightly sweet followed by a zesty aftertaste so that it prevented it from being cloying -- similar to the experience you get after biting a ripe orange wedge. I eagerly shared it with the friends around me and they also were enthusiastic. So enthusiastic that the bottle was soon empty. I horded the Lambrusco in my glass to make sure it lasted halfway through my meal and it went great with what I had. I had a couple of Italian-style meatballs and glazed ham. This was one drink that I would be sure to drink more often and because it is so refreshing, I can see this wine being a popular drink in the summer as well.

A Little Background on Lambrusco di Sorbara

Because I liked the wine so much I was curious as to how it came about. During my research, I learned that Lambrusco is the wine of preference in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. This region is thought of as the breadbasket of Italy. So folks, this wine comes from a place that knows good eating; prosciutto di Parma, salamis and other types of sausages, spaghetti bolognese, parmigiana reggiano (parmesan cheese) -- all this came from the Emilia Romagna region. To go with this food, they drink Lambrusco and Lambrusco goes with everything -- meats, pastas. cheeses, and anything else you might want to try.

For a wine to be designated Lambrusco di Sorbara it has to be made from a mix that has a minimum 60% sorbara grapes and maximum 40% salamino grapes grown and produced in the Emilia Romagna region; its alcohol content was low at 11%. You want to drink this wine as soon as you buy it. Now, I wouldn't know a sorbara from a salamino if it kissed me but it is a delicious, effervescent wine that I truly enjoy. The price of the wine was, I thought, a good value at $8.99.

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