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.

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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Above: A early prototype for what would come known as the “tank method.” Some people call the “tank method” the “Charmat method.” Others call it the “Martinotti method.” Here’s some background on how the tank method was developed (by our English-language blogger, wine writer and educator Jeremy Parzen). It’s part of our ongoing series on sparkling wine production.

By the end of the 1800s, the discoveries of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) had radically changed the way wine was understood. The fact that he essentially created the field of microbiology and was the first to identify yeast as the key agent in fermentation, i.e., the conversion of sugar into alcohol, launched the new science of wine.

When he first announced and published his major findings in the 1850s, sparkling wine was already being made on a large scale in Champagne. And by the end of the century, one of the pioneers of sparkling wine science, Frenchman Edme-Jules Maumené (1818-1898), was already experimenting with methods for expediting the classic method or Champagne method of sparkling wine production.

The idea was to reduce the amount of time it took to achieve effervescence, which, was extremely time-consuming in a world without temperature-controlled fermentation where sparkling wine was produced exclusively in bottle.

It’s believed that Maumené was the first to experiment with second fermentation provoked in a large vessel rather than a bottle.

And it’s really he who invented the process by developing a bung and other apparatuses that allowed him to seal and pressurize the fermentation vessel.

But it was Italian Federico Martinotti (1860-1924), a Piedmontese, who first applied for a patent for a pressurized fermentation apparatus.

And then it was a Frenchman, Eugène Charmat, who patented a new model of pressurized stainless steel vat for the production of sparkling wine in 1907.

There are many variations of Charmat’s name (he’s more frequently called Auguste Charmat). And nowhere can I find his year of birth and year of death.

I believe that his name was Eugène because there are English-language documents that show him to be the owner of the patent for a process for “decanting sparkling wine and other fermented drinks.”

The bottomline is that it was most likely Maumené who discovered a method for the production of sparkling wine in pressurized vessels. Martinotti most likely refined the process and applied it on a commercial scale in northwestern Italy. And it was Charmat who designed and patented the pressurized tanks that would become the standard for the production of closed tank sparkling wine production.

Jeremy Parzen
Lini blogger

We were thrilled to learn that leading Italian wine writer Daniele Cernilli (aka Doctor Wine) and his editors have named Lini’s 2006 In Correggio Rosso Millesimato a “best monovarietal wine” in its category (Lambrusco), giving it a whopping 95 points.

Earlier this year, Cernilli wrote that the wine is “not only the best Lambrusco of the year, it’s one of the best ever.”

(He and his editors awarded it “best Labmrusco” in their 2019 guide to the wines of Italy, which was published this month.)

Jaynes Gastropub helped us get the party started when we held a Lini Lambrusco garden party in San Diego back in July of this year.

In the meantime, a lot of folks have inquired as to where they can find the wines for purchase.

We were thrilled to learn that they are now available retail and by-the-glass at San Diego’s hippest wine shop, Vino Carta (in Little Italy in downtown San Diego).

San Diego’s fine wine scene has exploded over the last couple of years. We are so proud to be part of it!

Thank you, Vino Carta! We’ll come out and see you early next year.

Vino Carta
2161 India St.
San Diego CA 92101
(619) 564-6589
Google map

Image via the Vino Carta Facebook.

Above: Alicia Lini shows off a classic method wine as it ages in bottle.

Despite the fact that we are living during a global wine renaissance, when there is more information about wine and winemaking available to consumers and professionals than ever before, there is still a lot of confusion regarding sparkling wine production.

Part of our mission here at the Lini Lambrusco USA blog is to help fans of our wines navigate the often complicated landscape of sparkling wine across the world.

So let’s begin with some basics.

Nearly all sparkling wine is made by fermenting the wine twice, the second time in a pressurized environment. CO2 is a natural byproduct of fermentation. And so when you ferment wine in a pressurized environment, the CO2 is captured and it gives the wines their bubbles.

There are two primary methods employed by sparkling winemakers.

tank method

The tank method is often called the Charmat method by English speakers (the name comes from the Frenchman, Eugène Charmat, who patented a new model of pressurized stainless steel vat for the production of sparkling wine in 1907). In Italy, it is also called the Martinotti method after the Italian professor who perfected it in the 20th century.

A still wine is produced, called the “base” wine. It is then re-fermented in pressurized, temperature-controlled vats.

classic method

The classic method is also known as the traditional method. It’s exactly the same as the Champagne method. But in accordance with European law, “Champagne method” can only be used in Champagne, France where the eponymous wines are produced.

A still wine is produced (the base wine). The wine is then re-fermented in bottles.

There’s a lot more to both methods. And between now and New Year’s, we’ll be looking carefully and how sparkling wine is made. But this is a great place to start.

Lini makes both tank method and classic method Lambrusco. And it also produces classic method Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Stay tuned! More sparkling wine education coming your way!

Thanks for being here.

Here’s what Food & Wine magazine executive wine editor Ray Isle had to say about Lini Lambrusco when he first tasted them back in 2007 (“Not Your Grandmother’s Lambrusco”):

These are fresh, vibrant sparkling wines, ideal for summer drinking, and not overwhelmingly expensive, either.

Lini Lambrusco Blanco: White Lambrusco is actually quite common in Emilia-Romagna, though it’s virtually unknown here. Made without any skin contact, this has a scent of red apples and white grapes, and a racy zestiness that makes it an ideal aperitif wine.

Lini Lambrusco Rosé: Crisp strawberry aromas, and bright strawberry-cherry… This is made from the Sorbara grape variety, whose light skin naturally supplies the pale red color.

Lini Lambrusco Rosso: The brisk bubbles in this scour your tongue in an entirely appealing way, while the fresh, crushed-berry fruit and mild hint of earthiness give a hint as to how good this would be paired with a plate of grilled lamb chops.