We couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news that the Lini family and its wines are featured in the December issue of Food & Wine magazine.

“To some people,” writes Food & Wine executive wine editor Ray Isle, “it might come as a surprise that there is good Lambrusco. The wine’s image has long battled against the impression that it’s a slightly sweet, innocuous, fizzy pink drink… But traditional Lambrusco is dry and crisp, an excellent foil for the rich food of Emilia-Romagna. Alicia’s father, Fabio, who makes the Lini wine, says, ‘If you drink a glass of 15% alcohol wine, you get drunk on one glass. With Lambrusco, you can drink more glasses — quality with quantity ! — and not feel bad. Balance and drinkability is our goal. And that the day after, you feel good.”

The magazine should be hitting newsstands and bookstores early next week.

Check out “Pop Fizz Feast: In the hills of Emilia-Romagna, a Lambrusco-making family uncorks the holiday season with a joyful meal — and plenty of great sparkling wine,” including Alicia’s family recipes for their holiday celebration.

There’s a saying often repeated among American food and wine professionals (the first time our American blogger heard it, it was uttered by legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer): If it grows with it, it goes with it.

We just loved this post by veteran wine blogger and writer Vicki Denig on “The wines to drink with 7 iconic Italian dishes.”

White truffles from Piedmont? Nebbiolo (check!)

Bistecca fiorentina? Chianti (is there any other?)

Trenette with Pesto? Vermentino (so good)

And, of course, ragù alla bolognese? None other than Lambrusco!

When you travel to Emilia, you’ll find that the Emilians drink nothing but Lambrusco. It’s the canonical pairing for their style of cooking and their famous food products (Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello, salumi, Parmigiano Reggiano, etc.).

Italy’s intrinsic regionalism is part of what makes the mosaic of its gastronomy so fascinating and compelling.

We couldn’t have been more thrilled that Vicki recommended our wines in her post.

Thank you, Vicki!

Click here for the post.

A lot of our friends in America find it hard to believe when we tell them that in Italy, the classic pairing for pizza isn’t wine but beer.

The other thing that Italians like to pair with pizza is Coca Cola. Yes, Coke.

Part of the reason that beer and Coke top the list is because Italians like to drink something sparkling with pizza. Part of the reasoning behind this is that because pizza is dairy heavy, a sparkling beverage helps to balance the richness of the dish.

But there are other reasons as well.

Pizza is a dish served piping hot. So it’s not an ideal match for a still wine — red or white. Because of its serving temperature, a chilled beverage (again, ideally sparkling) works great.

Pizza is also a dish that has a lot of acidity in it. Between the mozzarella and the tomato, its tart character is pronounced. That also makes it a not ideal candidate for still wine because the acidity can be outpaced by the acidity in the dish.

And it’s for all the reasons above that Lambrusco works so great with pizza, even an intensely salty pizza like a napoletana with anchovies and capers (above).

Lambrusco is sparkling.

Lambrusco is slightly sweet (it should be overly sweet but just subtly sweet enough to go head to head with a salty dish like pizza).

Lambrusco has gentle acidity. It’s not great Lambrusco when the acidity is too pronounced.

But perhaps most importantly, the Lambrusco ethos is perfect for pizza. It’s all about a casual setting with friends having a good time, relaxed and easy.

Sounds like a glass of Lambrusco, doesn’t it?

Try it and you’ll thank us.

What’s your favorite pizza to pair with Lambrusco?

“I’m just going to come out and say it,” writes Epicurious associate editor Joe Sevier this month. “Thanks to its deep, juicy flavor and lightly sparkling body, Lambrusco is the only wine you need to serve at Thanksgiving 2019.”

We couldn’t agree more!

He recommended two of Lini’s wines for this year’s Thanksgiving feast. See what he had to say in his tasting notes below.

And check out his article on “why Lambrusco is the only wine you need for Thanksgiving” here.

It’s one of the best Thanksgiving wine pieces this year, funny and intelligent, with great insights into why Lambrusco makes for the ideal Thanksgiving pairing. Thank you, Joe! We loved this article (and not just because we’re mentioned in it)!

Here are his tasting notes:

    Lini 910 ‘Labrusca’ Lambrusco Rosso: This bright, tart wine comes from Lini 910, an Italian producer that’s become pretty synonymous with modern Lambrusco in America. This offering is a little intense to drink on its own, but the sour, pungent, blueberry notes make it a great addition to a spread of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and green bean casserole. Save it for dinnertime.
    Lini 910 In Correggio Lambrusco Scuro: This just off-dry bottling has those plummy, juicy flavors that you might favor in a Pinot Noir, and finishes clean and bright. It’s grapey and fizzy and crowd-pleasing.

For those of you attending Vinitaly this year, we hope to see you at the Lini stand: Hall 3, Stand C6.

Few English-speaking readers beyond southeast Texas and Louisiana will know what boudin is.

Well, they might know European boudin noir, the classic blood sausage found in many countries across the continent and even in Italy.

But unless you’ve spent some time along the Gulf Coast of the southeastern U.S., otherwise known as lagniappe country, you’ve probably never experienced Cajun boudin.

Also known as boudin blanc, it’s a type of sausage made with pork, rice, and spices (here’s a cool video on how boudin is made).

One of the ways that boudin is typically served is as “boudin balls”: The sausage is de-cased, crumbled, formed into balls, and then battered and fried.

It’s a classic dish along the Gulf Coast where our English-language blogger Jeremy lives.

He and his family recently paired homemade boudin balls with Lini Lambrusco Labrusca Rosato.

“It’s a spicy dish,” said Jeremy, “and needs a really fresh wine. It’s also a really fat-laden dish that in many ways mirrors the pork-heavy diet of the Emilians. The acidity and the bright fruit flavors worked great with the heat and the fat. And the wine’s lithe character was a counterpoint to the ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ earthy character of the sausage.”

Could Lambrusco be the ultimate pairing for Cajun cuisine?

Based on this initial experience (the first in our ongoing research), it might just be!

Above: Classic smoked beef rib, a staple of Texas BBQ, served on a croissant in Houston, Texas.

Earlier this week, I was invited to speak at a private gathering with three of Houston’s leading “pit masters” (otherwise known as “smokers,” pit masters smoke meat; the name comes from the fact that in another era, the meat was smoked over a pit of smoking embers).

Our task was to determine what Italian wines go best with Texas BBQ (please keep in mind that the term barbecue has a particular meaning in Texas: it denotes “dry-rub” smoked meats, mostly beef, that have been seasoned solely with dry spices, mostly salt and pepper).

As someone who has been working in Italian wine for more than 20 years, I have no doubt that Lambrusco is the ideal wine pairing for Texas BBQ, even better imho than beer.

When it was my turn to speak, here’s the analogy I drew.

One of the most iconic dishes in Emilian cuisine is boiled meats. A number of different cuts of meat, including beef round and tongue and chicken, are slow-cooked together in simmering water and then are sliced and served accompanied by mostarda, spicy pickled fruits.

It is served exclusively, solely, and canonically with Lambrusco.

You have all of the elements of Texas BBQ — minus the smoke.

Protein? Check.

Fat? Check.

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture? Check.

Heat (in the form of mostarda, akin to the spicy vinegar-based sauces served with Texas BBQ)? Check.

The parallels are all there (again, minus the smoke and smokiness).

And so I rest my case: Lambrusco is the ULTIMATE pairing for Texas BBQ!

Don’t believe me? Come visit me in Texas and the ‘cue and the Lambrusco is on me!

Jeremy Parzen
Lini blogmaster

That’s Jayne Battle, above, owner and namesake of Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego, one of our favorite restaurants in California.

Last week, after Food & Wine magazine called Lambrusco “the perfect Thanksgiving wine,” Jayne and her husband Jon put Lini Lambrusco to the Thanksgiving test: Lini Lambrusco was the official pairing for their Thanksgiving 2018!

Sending a big shout-out and lots of love to Jayne, Jon, and the whole team at Jaynes. Thank you, guys! We can’t wait to get back out there in early 2019.

Happy holidays!

P.S. Whatcha pouring for Christmas? 😉

It seems like just yesterday that we asked whether or not Lambrusco could be the perfect Thanksgiving wine (well, actually, it was last week).

So it came as no surprise to us when the editors of Food & Wine published this piece on Friday: “What is Lambrusco — and Why It Could Be the Perfect Thanksgiving Red Wine.”

“A Thanksgiving dinner,” writes Jillian Kramer for the magazine, “is reason to celebrate — with a refreshing, versatile red wine, that is. According to the sommeliers we spoke with, Lambrusco is one of the best wines to pour for a holiday toast or to sip alongside a six-course meal.”

One of the wine professionals she talks to tells her, “the intense red fruit — think, cherry and strawberry — flavors of dry Lambrusco would complement game birds, turkey and ham,” some of the classic fixings for the Thanksgiving piece.

It’s a great article chock full of useful information about Lambrusco and why it works so well at a meal like the Thanksgiving feast.

Check it out here. And thank you, Jillian, for loving Lambrusco as much as we do!

Photo: A Thanksgiving plate in Southeast Texas by our blogger Jeremy Parzen aka Do Bianchi.

We loved Eric Asimov’s column last week for the New York Times, notes from his yearly Thanksgiving tasting panel.

In it he writes:

    We emphasize that choosing wines for Thanksgiving is not an exercise in pairing. The meal — especially the sort of potluck buffet where guests bring all sorts of family favorites — is too complex and disparate to worry about precision matching.
    Instead, we suggest picking versatile wines that go with many different sorts of flavors. And we are wary of wines that are more than 14 percent alcohol.

Eric and his tasting panel didn’t taste or recommend any Lambrusco for this year’s Thanksgiving feast (although Eric is a HUGE Lambrusco fan and he has recommended Lini Lambrusco many times in his columns over the years).

But we really appreciated what he had to say about picking versatile wines that go with many different flavors.

That’s Lambrusco to a tee!

We were also struck by his advice: We are wary of wines that are more than 14 percent alcohol.

One of the best things about Lambrusco is its restrained alcohol, usually around 11 percent (far below the threshold that Eric recommends).

Another thing that he recommends is economy in selecting Thanksgiving wines. Each year, he caps the bottle price at $25.

He writes:

    We imagine an unruly feast, with lots of people, perhaps served buffet-style. For a big group, chances are nobody will want an exorbitant wine bill, hence our price cap.

Versatility in pairing?
Restrained alcohol?
Value?

The answer is spelled L I N I  L A M B R U S C O!

On Sunday, our American blogger hosted a “Lambrusco and BBQ” party in Houston, Texas where he lives with his family.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that Texas BBQ (not just BBQ but TEXAS bbq) has become a worldwide phenomenon. Even in outposts as far away as Brooklyn and Rome (yes, no joke!) and Napa, smokers are smoking dry-rub brisket just like the way they do it in the Lone Star state.

In Texas, they pair either ice tea or beer with BBQ.

But, as our blogger has discovered over his years in Texas, Lambrusco makes for the ideal pairing: Served cold, with gentle bubbles, a hint of sweetness, and the right balance of acidity and tannin to cut through the heat and fattiness of the ‘cue (as they call it down there), Lambrusco is a natural match for this style of cooking. And it makes perfect sense: Even though they don’t smoke their meats in Emilia, the spiritual homeland of Lambrusco, there are many parallels between the heartiness of the two culinary traditions.

Like no other, Lini embodies the joy of the Emilian people and their favorite wine, Lambrusco. That joy was on display last Sunday in Houston.

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