From the February 2020 issue of Food & Wine magazine:

LINI 910 Labrusca Rosso NV

Forget everything you know about Lambrusco. This dry sparkling red — almost purple — wine is made by a fourth generation producer in the tiny Italian town of Canolo. Full of dark berry fruit, it’s one of my favorite winter dinner-party pours.

Ray Isle (above with Alicia)
Executive Wine Editor
Food & Wine

American friends and wine lovers,

As you are probably already aware, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is currently considering the implementation of 100 percent tariffs on wines produced in the European Union, including Italian wines.

Using the first two links below, you can writes to your representatives in congress expressing your concern (it takes just a few clicks to fill out the form and generate a pre-written “form” letter that will be sent to your senators and your congressperson).

The third link can be used to post a comment on the USTR website. The deadline for submitting comments to the USTR is Monday, January 13.

Thank you for making your voice heard.

Write to your senators (via the National Association of Wine Retailers):
https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/697

To your congressperson (via the National Association of Wine Retailers):
https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/698

To the United States Trade Representative (USTR):
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USTR-2019-0003-2518

The deadline to register your concern with the USTR is Monday, January 13.

“This very dry, earthy, ruby-red version,” writes leading wine critic Elin McCoy for Bloomberg this month, “is like liquid cranberries, perfect for drinking while you wrap presents.”

It’s one of her “fun fizz” recommendations for her widely followed “50 Best Wines under $50” column this year.

Click here for all of her picks.

Happy holidays, everyone!

“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.

Above: Alicia examines a bottle of Lini classic method wine “aging on its lees.” As she holds it up to the light, you can see the “lees,” the sediment, in the bottom of the bottle.

What is “lees aging”? And why is it important in the production of sparkling wine?

You often hear wine trade professionals talk about this phase, a very particular one, in the sparkling winemaking process but few can really tell you what it means and why it’s a fundamental element in sparkling wine production.

Sparkling wine is always produced by fermenting the wine twice, the second time in a pressurized environment (either a tank or in the case of classic method wines, in bottles).

After the second fermentation of the wine, the wine is aged “on its lees.” Lees are the sediment (the solids) produced as a byproduct of fermentation. They are made up mostly of dead yeast cells (fermentation is the process of yeast converting sugar into alcohol) and cells from the grape must.

It’s during the period of lees aging that the wine develops a lot of its flavors and texture. In general, the longer the wine is aged on its lees, the better.

It’s that time of the year again when wine writers across the United States will begin posting and publishing their “Thanksgiving wine recommendations.”

And inevitably, many of them will start their posts with apologetic admissions that Thanksgiving wine pairings are almost impossible to make. That’s because of two major reasons.

1) The classic all-American Thanksgiving feast includes a wide variety of dishes, disparate in flavor. As a result, there’s no “one wine” that goes well with everything on the table.

2) The Thanksgiving gathering is traditionally a family affair where you have all kinds of different people, with different palates and tastes, seated for the same meal. Not everyone likes the same style of wine. For some of your guests, it’s the only time of year that they actually drink wine!

And here’s where Lambrusco comes in. There are a number of reasons why it works well with the Thanksgiving meal.

1) It’s immensely versatile at the table and superbly food-friendly. It will pair well with a lot of the dishes in the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

2) It’s both a crowd-pleaser that inexperienced wine drinkers can enjoy and a classic Italian wine that wine lovers will like.

3) It’s low in alcohol and so guests don’t need to be shy about having more than one glass.

4) It’s one of the sparkling wine world’s most value-driven appellations. This is important when you’re serving wine to a large group.

5) It’s the ultimate celebration wine. Its sparkle is an essential element in any holiday party.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends! In coming weeks, we’ll share more serving and pairing suggestions here on the blog.