Just had to share this photo from a few years ago when the Lini family hosted some American friends at the winery with a classic Emilia-style pre-lunch Saturday aperitivo.

When we think of Lambrusco pairings, it’s only natural to go straight to prosciutto, salumi, and the classic ragù that are served in Emilia.

But one of the best pairings, however surprising to some, is pinzimonio, crudités served with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

It’s such a classic of Emilian hospitality and it’s wonderful on a warm summer day.

WE MISS ITALY! WE MISS EMILIA!

From the department of “just in case you were wondering”…

We know that the Romans used the word Lambrusco.

In ancient Latin, it appears as lambruscum or labrusca. It denoted “wild grape varieties” and can be found in the works of writers like Pliny and Columella.

But the earliest known mention in the Italian language dates back to the early 14th century when Bolognese jurist and agriculturalist writer Pietro de’ Crescenzi used it to refer to the specific grape variety. At least so it is believed (according to top Italian lexicographers).

Images via the Wikipedia entry for Pietro de’ Crescenzi.

We were so thrilled to see this Instagram post and tasting note from Alessandra Esteves, Master of Wine candidate and founder of the Florida Wine Academy: “Lambrusco Rosé: dry, tart and delicious, with delicate bubbles. Lini 910 Labrusca was perfect with Sunday pizza.”

Thank you, Alessandra! That means so much coming from you! We can wait to meet and taste with you one of these days. And we’re looking forward to next year’s VinoSummit!

That’s “Shanghai Noodle Surf + Turf” at Meyers & Chang in Boston above: “Soy marinated beef + shrimp, bell peppers + bean sprouts come together in a zingy black pepper sauce in the wok with wheat noodles. Brightened up with a little peanut + lime” (via the restaurant’s Instagram).

Hungry yet?

They only have a handful of wines on their list. But man, it’s such a great wine program!

Here’s their tasting note for the Lini Lambrsuco Labrusca Rosato: “Sparkling rosé – sour cherries, strawberry jam. Dry – friendly with all sorts of food!”

Right now we are DREAMING of pairing the Labrusca with that dish. But alas, they don’t deliver to Emilia!

It’s on our list for when we can get back to America!

“Never one to follow trends,” writes leading wine writer and educator Wanda Mann (above), author of the popular Wine With Wanda blog, “Lini makes their traditional dry style of Lambrusco the same way they always have, including the use of hand riddling, to create wines that are fresh and food-friendly with brilliant fruit flavors.”

Wanda recently featured an interview with Alicia on her Instagram: Check it out here.

Wanda is one of the wine world’s rising stars and leading voices and we couldn’t be more thrilled that she took time out to connect with Alicia and taste a few wines together. See the post for her tasting notes and the interview.

Thank you, Wanda! You are awesome!

Image via Wanda’s Facebook.

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?

Last night (at 7:30 p.m. CST in Texas and 2:30 a.m. CET Friday morning in Italy), Alicia joined a Zoom call “virtual wine dinner” with 40+ wine lovers hosted by Roma in Houston.

As the guests enjoyed a Lambrusco-inspired menu paired with three Lini wines (the Labrusca Rosé, the Labrusca Rosso, and the Lambrusco In Correggio Scuro), Alicia spoke about the history of her family’s winery and the wines.

Many of the guests had never tasted a Lambrusco before and it was thrilling to watch them discover authentic Lambrusco for the first time.

Thank you Roma, owner Shanon Scott, and chef Angelo Cuppone for hosting such a wonderful event and including us!

We’ll look forward to the next time.

No one really knows where the name comes from (although some believe it might be a corruption of the ancient Longobard knohhil meaning wood knot).

But everyone in Italy knows what it looks and tastes like: gnocco fritto (above).

Literally, it means fried dumpling, like the gnocchi (plural) or dumplings that you simmer and served topped with your favorite sauce.

But technically, the term is more akin to what we today call fried dough in the U.S. (similar to the pizza fritta or fried pizza [dough] that you find at Italian-American festivals in the U.S.).

In Emilia where Lambrusco is made, gnocco fritto is always served piping hot, right out of the frier.

It can be paired with salumi, thinly sliced prosciutto or mortadella, and even with a slathering of rendered lard.

The thing about gnocco fritto is that the serving temperature helps to liquify the fat in the cured pork, thus drawing out its flavor and giving it an even more decadent texture.

It’s one of the greatest and most canonical pairings for Lambrusco: The freshness of the wine, it gentle acidity, bubbles, and restrained sweetness make the salty rich flavors of the dough and the meat sing on your palate.

Gnocco fritto is one of the things we miss the most about Emilia. What do you miss? #IMissItaly #IMissEmilia