We loved this tasting note by writer Shana Clarke, part of her round-up of summer wine recommendations for the Equinox fitness blog this month. Spot on!

    Effervescent and served chilled, Lambrusco is always refreshing in warmer weather. This version, from a fourth-generation-run estate, features raspberry notes without becoming too sweet. Thanks to its structure and complexity, it’s still robust enough to stand up to hearty dishes like burgers and steak.

According to the results of a consumer survey published by the popular wine trade magazine Drinks Business this week, Italy is the “best wine country” in the world.

“Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers,” report the editors, “beating France and Spain.”

“Italy emerged victorious due to the abundance of wine tasting experiences on offer throughout its 21 wine regions running from the top to the bottom of its boot.”

Italy prevailed over other countries “due to its higher number of consumer wine experiences and having a larger number of wineries open to the public.”

Click here to read the entire results of the survey.

The following editorial reflects the views of our American blogmaster Jeremy Parzen.

Late last month, the venerable local masthead Gazzetta di Modena published an “opinion” piece with the following title: “Lambrusco vs. champagne [sic]: Lambrusco will soon take the lead.”

The author, Paride Rabitti, who goes by the Twitter handle “Lambruscologist,” writes: “Lambrusco di Sorbara [is] the most refined and most worthy competitor for French bubbles.”

“If we continue to produce high-quality classic method Lambrusco…,” he contends, “in a few decades people will talk about [Lambrusco di Sorbara] with the same deference with which they look to our French cousins in Champagne.”

(Translation mine.)

Wine writer Lisa Foletti reacted to the piece in her own op-ed published this week by the popular Italian wine blog Intravino.

“There’s no question that there are some truly interesting classic method Sorbara [wines] out there,” she writes, “very refined and complex… But the value of these products doesn’t lie in their resemblance to Champagne. It’s the opposite: The thing that makes them so good to drink is the uniqueness of the grape variety and the terroir.”

(Translation mine.)

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

As a longtime observer of the sparkling wine trade, I’ve seen this time and time again: Wine writers and wine lovers just can’t resist comparing (and confusing) a method with a wine.

Like many progressive Lambrusco producers, Lini makes a classic method Lambrusco. It’s delicious, it’s complex, and it’s a cut above the rest (read this excellent tasting note for the 2005 Lini Lambrusco Metodo Classico by Alberto Lupetti, Italy’s leading expert on sparkling wine).

But the point of this wine is not to make the “Champagne of Lambruscos” (my Italian colleagues are probably unaware of the vintage marketing campaign for Miller High Life beer, “the Champagne of Beers”).

The idea behind this wine is to explore and reveal Lambrusco’s immense potential to deliver distinctive and compelling wines.

Winemaker Fabio Lini and his family are huge fans of Champagne. They often drink Champagne at home and they make classic method Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, unfortunately not available in the U.S. (yet).

But their classic method Lambrusco isn’t trying to compete with Champagne.

It’s an expression of their viticulture and their terroir. Not someone else’s. Theirs.

And it represents a new and exciting chapter in the ever evolving history of and future for Lambrusco. It’s not the result of competition. It’s the fruit of good taste.

Jeremy Parzen

The views espoused here are my own.

Andrea Scanzi is one of Italy’s leading political essayists, wine writers, television personalities, and gourmets (see the Wikipedia entry on Andrea here).

Here’s what he had to say about Lini’s Lambrusco Metodo Classico nearly 10 years ago. The rest is history…

The family’s Metodo Classic Lambrusco, he wrote, “is made using [Lambrusco] Salamino grapes. I find it to be one of the most elegant and winning wagers by a Reggio Emilia winery ever undertaken. It’s even more fascinating than some of their classic method wines” made from conventional grapes.

As spring blends into summer, with July 4 right around the corner, a lot of you will be breaking out the grill to cook your favorite cut of steak.

When it comes to summer grills, often served al fresco, one of our favorite pairings for grilled beef is Lambrusco.

A lot of people don’t realize that Lambrusco is actually a tannic grape: The tannin, combined with the freshness and bright fruit of the wine, makes it the perfect summer grill wine. Especially as the weather gets warmer and you crave refreshing wines to accompany your food, Lambrusco strikes the perfect balance between structure, food-friendliness, and versatility.

So the next time you fire up the grill for your favorite cut, take a bottle of Lini out for a spin! We know you’re going to love it…

We just had to share these photos sent by a friend of Lini from the Indy 500 last month.

It was a thrill for us to learn that Lini was being served in the spectators Penthouse section at this historic race.

The Indy 500 — also known as Indianapolis 500-Mile Race or the Indianapolis 500 — is the oldest auto race in the world.

It’s run every year on Memorial Day weekend, a holiday that marks the start of the summer season for Americans.

This year’s race, the 103rd, was run on Sunday, May 26, 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The fabled track is known as the “Brickyard” because it was paved with bricks in 1909.

We couldn’t have been more excited to learn that spectators were enjoying our wines as they watched the race!