Posted by: tomciocco | July 16, 2011

A LAMBRUSCO LOOKS SEAWARD

Thinking about the foods of Emilia-Romagna usually conjures images of eighteen kinds of cured pork, ewers of cream, plump mushrooms, diaphanously thin but elastic egg pastas, tossed with rich meat ragu`.  All of these things (and a lot more) are true. Emilia-Romagna (especially the former, western half) arguably serves up the richest cuisine in Italy, but many forget that the eastern half (Romagna) loves to eat its vegetables, and has a SEACOAST!

So despite the fact that Lambrusco is the perfect foil for the slow-cooked, decadent aspect of the region’s cuisine, it is as at home with seafood, not surprisingly the fattier the better, and better still if your finned dinner companion has been cooked on the grill. Lambrusco’s slicing acidity, frothy bubbles, and sweet and sour fruit profile pick up really well on  crisped skin, and the toasted, oily juiciness of grey-white fish flesh.

This particular bottle of Lambrusco is organic (a rarity for its type), vintage dated (also hardly ever seen on a bottle of Lambrusco) and is undosed with sulfites, making it plain and clear that this wine is made from FRUIT (Gasp!)  – really off-the-vine fresh fruit that combination punches with flavors of sun (whack!) and soil (whack!) –  i.e. real terroir. A cool little aside that may or may not come across in the pictures is that the label of this wine is made from the same material as a fine clothing label…

The evening’s precise menu was classic easy summer dish from Emilia-Romagna, prosciutto e melone, and grilled Spanish mackerel fillets marinated with lemon and orange juices, oil, rosemary, bay leaf, and bread crumbs, and contorno of lemon-butter braised French beans.

Vigneto Saetti Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce 2010

 “Natural juicy” slighly cloudy, brownish purple/red color. Initial aroma of boiled eggs slowly blows off to reveal an intense and pungent bundle of cherries and  fresh-crushed berry aromas, raw meat, truffles, andFallsy dried fruit and leaves notes. The froth disappears quickly after the pour, and the overall bubble level is slighly less than average and very fine. The medium body is beautifully dry and tart with honest and “natural” flavors of cranberry sauce, violets, boiled celery, sweet and savory spices, and  toasted walnut and coconut. Beautifully textured, bitter mineral and pomegranate molasses finish. A rustic, but still complex and sophisticated wine.

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