There is nothing more celebratory than a beautiful glass of sparkling wine during the holidays. The delicious Italian sparkling (frizzante) red wine called Lambrusco is no exception, and pairs wonderfully with the season’s joyful events.

Holiday dining table

Produced in the Italian wine region of Emilia-Romagna (center north of Italy), Lambrusco grapes have been grown since pre-Roman times. There are over 60 related grape varieties. The most common varieties are: Lambrusco Salamino (the most widely planted), Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Marani, and Lambrusco di Sorbara. Most Lambrusco wines are made from a blend of these grapes.

Like Champagne and other sparkling wines, Emilia-Romagna’s bubbly red wine comes in various sweetness levels from dry (Secco, up to 15 g/L of residual sugar) to sweet (Dolce, more than 45 g/L of residual sugar). Serve slightly chilled, the beautifully versatile Lambrusco can be drunk throughout your entire meal.

A winery that produces a wide range of styles is Medici Ermete, one of the oldest Lambrusco producers in the Emilia-Romagna region. Since 1890, the Medici family blends historic winemaking expertise with a modern and original style. Grapes come exclusively from prime vineyards and fermentation is always natural.


4 Ways to Drink Lambrusco All Holiday Long

Now that you have a better understanding of Emilia-Romagna’s festive, red frizzante wine, let’s dig into how we can pair this wine with our favorite holiday dishes!

Aperitivo

Cheese board to pair with lambrusco
A little bit of residual sugar in some Lambruscos is great for starting off the evening with salumi and cheeses.

‘Tis the season for parties and get-togethers: Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco DOC is an easy-drinking sparkler to greet any guest. Produced with the Salamino and Marani grapes, this low alcohol wine (11% ABV) and 14 g/L residual sugar is delightful with a scrumptious cheese board filled with mortadella, cheeses, charcuterie, and flavorful fruit to guests. You can also pair it with pizza, cranberry brie bites, or that (super cute) cheesy garlic knot Christmas tree!


Pasta Course

Lasagna to pair with Lambrusco
Rich pasta dishes like tortellini and baked ziti are a great match with frizzante Lambrusco like Medici Ermete Solo.

Solo Reggiano Rosso DOC 2020 is a brilliant ruby red color with classic red fruit aromas. It is fruit-forward on the palate, round, and exuberant with fine and persistent bubbles. Solo is produced with the Salamino and Ancellotta grapes. Serve with your Christmas lasagna, baked ziti, tagliatelle with meat sauce, or tortellini stuffed with pumpkin and spices.


Main Course

Steak marinated in salt with rosemary garnish to pair with lambrusco
Lambrusco pairs well with meats, steak, ham, lasagna, and other main courses.

The main course might seem like a tough pairing but not for the Concerto Organic Reggiano Lambrusco 2020. It is the world’s first single-vineyard vintage Lambrusco, and the 2020 vintage is certified organic. It is a dry sparkling red wine made with the Salamino grape with lively bubbles achieved through natural fermentation.

This bold bubbly wine is delicious with any holiday main course such as grilled chicken, glazed ham, roasted lamb or turkey, lightly marbled steaks, Christmas lasagna, and sides of mixed vegetables.


Dessert

Gingerbread Cookies
Pleasantly sweet Quercioli Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco DOC pairs perfectly with dessert.

Finish your holiday meal with any of your favorite pies, tarts, cannoli, cookies, or salted caramels, and don’t forget a glass of Quercioli Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco DOC.

Quercioli Dolce Reggiano shows delicate floral notes of violet leading to a luxuriously sweet, fresh palate that is pleasantly harmonious. It is produced with the same grapes as the Quercioli Secco above; however, the alcohol level is much lower (8.5%) with a higher sugar content of 50 g/l residual sugar. This sparkling wine is perfect for all your holiday sweets and treats.


If you would like to learn more about the region of Emilia-Romagna region and its delicious sparkling red wine, pop over to Wine 365’s Inside Wine Podcast to listen to an interview with the Co-Owner of Medici Ermete, Alessandro Medici.

Buon Natale!

Author

Veteran wine publicist for Kobrand Wine & Spirits with WSET 2 certification. Lover of wine, crafty cocktails, foodie, high fashion and a good workout

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