2019 Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Does anyone else watch the tv program “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”? Every Sunday night, like the old people we are, my husband and I gather around the tv and for an hour we are transported to Italy – the country we honeymooned in. Maybe it’s because of this weekly ritual, I find myself drinking more Italian wine than usual.

Arguably, the gastronomic heart of Italy lies in the region of Emilia-Romagna. This northern Italian region is home to Parmigiano-Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto di Parma to name only a few. When the food is complex and involved, you want to look for a simple wine in order not to compete. Enter my spring pick: Medici Ermete’s Concerto Lambrusco.

Now you might remember Lambrusco from the 70’s or 80’s when your grandma would sip on a an overly sweet version of it. At the time, it was the biggest selling imported wine to the US. Thankfully, this is not your Grandma’s Lambrusco.

There are a handful of Lambrusco grape varieties, each with their own distinct characteristics, but they all stem from Emilia-Romagna region. They are often blended together, however this one is made with 100% Lambrusco Salamino.  Lambrusco can vary in color from white to pink to red, and vary in sweetness, but it is always fizzy! This means that regardless of color, you always serve it chilled. It is made Charmat method, just like Prosecco, where the second fermentation happens in a tank.

Medici is recognized as one of the leading Italian Lambrusco makers. This wine has an intense plum color with notes of fresh strawberries, cherries, raspberries, and zippy acidity. It has always reminded me of grape pop. It is clean and lively and the perfect pairing for your rich tortellini, because once your mouth is coated with robust flavors, the cool purple bubbles cleanse your palate to get you ready for the next fork full.