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Riunite - 'Lambrusco'

$18.00
Sale price

Regular price $18.00

"

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Riunite

It all started in 1950 with the Cantine Cooperative in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. A small band (or cooperative) of wine producers got together with a shared passion to make great wines. Today, we are still going strong as Italy’s largest wine exporter. Our passion for wine, friends, family and food brought us together many decades ago. That’s why Riunite is still bringing friends and families together today.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Lambrusco varieties

The 4 Lambrusco grapes that can be used are Maestri, Marani, Montericco, and Salamino. Up to 15% of added Ancellotta grapes are permitted in the DOC as well. The sweet versions of the wine are typically in the light bodied frizzante style while the drier wines are more full bodied and darker in colour. 

--------THE REGION--------

Emilia-Romagna

The wide plains south of the river Po are the source of a great deal of relatively dreary light red Sangiovese di Romagna bearing no relation whatever to top-quality Chianti Classico although, interestingly, when the Tuscans analysed the quality of different Sangiovese clones, they found the best were often of Romagnan origin. Some fine reds are now made in Romagna, mainly from Sangiovese planted in the hilly east of the region. Trebbiano di Romagna on the other hand tends to be dry, white and neutral. In what can only have been a political move, Albana di Romagna was the first white wine anywhere in Italy to be elevated to DOCG status. It varies greatly in both sweetness and quality.

This large region is also home to Lambrusco, which in the 1980s was to Italy what Liebfraumilch was to Germany. The larger companies, supplied largely by a handful of giant co-operatives, turned Lambrusco into a sweet, low-alcohol, fizzy drink in virtually any colour which bears little resemblance to wine. Good Lambrusco exists, however, in the form of deep cherry red, lightly fizzy dry wine that can taste absolutely perfect with the porcine dishes of Bologna.

Colli Bolognesi to the immediate south of Bologna has a burgeoning reputation for international varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot, as well as creditable whites from local grape Pignoletto.

is a central region of Italy, just north of Tuscany. It is almost exclusively known as being the home of Lambrusco - the slightly sparkling red wine made from a grape of the same name.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Riunite

It all started in 1950 with the Cantine Cooperative in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. A small band (or cooperative) of wine producers got together with a shared passion to make great wines. Today, we are still going strong as Italy’s largest wine exporter. Our passion for wine, friends, family and food brought us together many decades ago. That’s why Riunite is still bringing friends and families together today.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Lambrusco varieties

The 4 Lambrusco grapes that can be used are Maestri, Marani, Montericco, and Salamino. Up to 15% of added Ancellotta grapes are permitted in the DOC as well. The sweet versions of the wine are typically in the light bodied frizzante style while the drier wines are more full bodied and darker in colour. 

--------THE REGION--------

Emilia-Romagna

The wide plains south of the river Po are the source of a great deal of relatively dreary light red Sangiovese di Romagna bearing no relation whatever to top-quality Chianti Classico although, interestingly, when the Tuscans analysed the quality of different Sangiovese clones, they found the best were often of Romagnan origin. Some fine reds are now made in Romagna, mainly from Sangiovese planted in the hilly east of the region. Trebbiano di Romagna on the other hand tends to be dry, white and neutral. In what can only have been a political move, Albana di Romagna was the first white wine anywhere in Italy to be elevated to DOCG status. It varies greatly in both sweetness and quality.

This large region is also home to Lambrusco, which in the 1980s was to Italy what Liebfraumilch was to Germany. The larger companies, supplied largely by a handful of giant co-operatives, turned Lambrusco into a sweet, low-alcohol, fizzy drink in virtually any colour which bears little resemblance to wine. Good Lambrusco exists, however, in the form of deep cherry red, lightly fizzy dry wine that can taste absolutely perfect with the porcine dishes of Bologna.

Colli Bolognesi to the immediate south of Bologna has a burgeoning reputation for international varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot, as well as creditable whites from local grape Pignoletto.

is a central region of Italy, just north of Tuscany. It is almost exclusively known as being the home of Lambrusco - the slightly sparkling red wine made from a grape of the same name.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.