An Evening With Lambrusco Wines, Reggio Emilia Italy

My first encounter with the Lambrusco red wine from northern Italy.. bright, ruby-hued, food-friendly, fragrant, fruity, and slightly sparkling (in Italian, frizzante), delightfully tasty!

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Lambrusco is the name of both the red wine grape and the wine made from it – one of the oldest wine grapes in the world. Anyway, this region the wine hails from is an epicure’s dream, home to prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!   The wine can vary from dry to sweet, so if you have an aversion to sugary wines, be sure to check the label for secco, which means dry, or amabile, slightly sweet. Secco Lambrusco is the most food-friendly option and pairs ever so well with cured meats such as Italian salami.

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Founded in 1900 on the beautiful Rocca di Scandiano, Casali Viticultori is a leading producer of sparkling wines from Lambrusco, Spergola and Malbo Gentile, local varietals of Emilia. With a production of 2 million bottles exported in over 30 countries.

P6275012 And I don’t mean the limited range, of poor quality, candied, fizzy wine that sells in United States as well as in KL in the past 10 years…  those taste like they should be wine coolers or fortified street wines. I mean real Lambrusco secco, dry, earthy and slightly bitter yet vibrant and refreshing, beloved by millions in Emilia-Romagna.

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Mr. Massimo Casali, of the Casali wine Estate in Reggio Emilia, shows off his most prized possessions.. the lambrusco grapes P6275069


A well structured and balanced wine has that typical dark cherry nose, accompanied by notes of ripe strawberries and cassis, with hints of spice and a slight sensation of graphite. While not exactly complexed, it should have a pleasant finish and round tannins, making it a great accompaniment for a plate of cold cuts and local tigelle flatbreads, or steaming Emilia-style tagliatelle.

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Mr Massimo Casali is a passionate and enlightened grower of Lambrusco, and he has definitely cultivated a most beautiful farm.

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The lumbrusco wines, are not complex wines, and nobody would mistake them for say a Barolo or Brunello. They are rather, fruity and simple, with a dry, earthy, pleasantly bitter edge that shapes and channels the fruitiness.

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Today, the Casali family wine production is a real business focused on the development of the vineyards and the winery and on introducing the state of the art technologies that supported nature. This lovely winery in Scandiano, keeps to traditional practices where the grapes are pressed and the juice left to rest in barrels to be more fine on the palate.

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We learned that good farming practices have lead Casali Viticultori to be known as a representative of historic local traditions and famed also for their native grape varieties, such as Spergola, and lesser varieties of Lambrusco such as Montericco Marani and Malbo Gentile, which have always been produced in this area.

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Then we had a chance to go to the town center of Scandiano for lunch, at Osteria in Scandiano.

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Gnocco paired with the 23 months aged Culatello,the heart of the best parma ham! The gnocco is a fried dough parcel – chewy and billowy yet slightly crispy on the edges. It’s very addictive and goes perfect with all salumi!

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Delicious! 

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Light tasting, invigorating pasta with seabass fish and herbs.. Omg, I died and went to heaven!

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Despite the fear of sparkling reds, Lambrusco is a super value that goes great with food, particularly simple grilled meats, fatty salumi, rich pasta sauces and cheeses.

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Meringue, chocolate mousse dessert.. It’s called the hamburger. Simply divine!

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Love the way the light and fluffy Meringue, crumbled as your spoon dove into it.

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Best zuppa inglese I’ve had on this trip. The bittersweet chocolate layer was just outstanding.

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A great time.. and thanks Casali Wines for hosting us!

Also, if great food is your thing, then you’re going to want to check out this post on, 10 Affordable Restaurants to Visit in Bologna, for amazing Italian cuisine that will not burn a hole in your wallet.

Osteria in Scandiano
Address: Piazza Boiardo Matteo Maria, 9, 42019 Scandiano RE, Italy
Phone:+39 0522 857079
Hours: Open today · 12:00 – 3:00 pm, 7:45 – 10:00 pm

 

In Reggio Emilia, we were also honored to attend one of the biggest wine contests held, Wine Competition Terre di Lambrusco – Matilda di Canossa, promoted by the Chamber of Commerce of Reggio Emilia, and aimed to spread awareness of the best “Lambrusco” wines in Italy.

 

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That night, at the Municipal Theatre of Reggio Emilia, they presented the various types of wines to the public, and acknowledged and rewarded the activities of wineries in the continuous improvement in the quality of their products, increasing market share, and promoting the production of Lambrusco in terms of tourism as well as the entire food and wine heritage of the region.

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We were particularly honored to be given the privilege of going on stage and presenting the winners with their certificates and accolades!

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Wow.. what a night! I think this will remain in my mind as one of the coolest award giving ceremonies I have ever attended in my life time.

High quality wines, a professional jury and thorough evaluation system all contribute to an objective assessment of the selected wines. The results are both useful for producers and consumers. These awards represent a unique opportunity for great wines to be discovered and also as a point of reference to help further enhance the production of lambrusco wines.

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Along with the other iAmbassador bloggers, we were indeed glad to be a part of history as the names of the winners were announced one by one.

 

My trip to Emilia Romagna is part of the #Blogville campaign, a collaboration between the Emilia Romagna Region Tourist Board and iAmbassador. As always, CCFoodTravel maintains full editorial control over the blog.

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