Vino: Lambrusco

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Lambrusco is a summer standby; fun, fizzy & fresh; an excellent red wine to toast summer's arrival with!

Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine. Who said red can't be sparkling? Sparkling reds can be fabulous and Lambrusco proves that!

Lambrusco (the name for both the grape and the wine) suffers from a severe marketing slump here in the United States, thanks to Riunite in the 70's, though it's enjoyed a good reputation abroad for hundreds of years. In fact, it is one of the oldest wines and can trace its roots to ancient times.

Lambruscos are fizzy reds that range from light to dark. My favorites tend to be the inky dark ones with a rich and full mouth feel, balanced by the characteristic high acid and a touch of sweetness. The lighter bodies Lambruscos are equally great, just more delicate.

These inexpensive wines usually fall in the $10 to $20 range, try not to go below $5 for a bottle as you may be getting into the artifically sweetened, Riunite territory.

Serve chilled with just about anything. Great as an aperitif, with main courses and, like the rest of summer, it rocks with grilling.

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