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Tasting Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco with Alicia Lini



Alicia Lini at Coppa Osteria
While everyone in the world seems to know about our oppressive hot and humid summers in Houston, Texas, not everyone knows about our beautiful springlike weather that we enjoy throughout the fall and often through much of winter. Alicia Lini was in town in November showcasing the easy pairing nature of her family's Lambrusco wines with a group of local wine and food writers on the patio at Coppa Osteria. The day was sunny and bright with a gentle breeze, making it not only an ideal day to enjoy al fresco dining in Houston but a perfect afternoon for some chilled Lambrusco.

If you were a child of the 70s or are a little older, then you grew up with the knowledge gained from a TV commercial that Lambrusco wines are nice. The Lini family does not make that particular brand of the wine but theirs are definitely nice.

Founded in 1910 by Oreste Lini, the brandname takes the 910 from that date, the winery is now being run by the fourth generation. The family makes their sparkling wines using both the Charmat and the classic Champagne method to create their line of Lambrusco wines in their signature style that is dry, fruity, and balanced with fresh minerality. For this tasting lunch, we were trying the Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco line which is made in the Charmat or tank method preserving the fruity nature of the grapes.

Jeremy Parzen aka DoBianchi was at the table to share his love of Lambrusco.

Italian Lambrusco wines come from Emilia-Romagna which lies south of Venice and east of Tuscany. The wines can be made from a large family of grapes which were named Lambrusca by the ancient Romans. Some of the grape varieties are much more widely planted than others, some contribute more color, some more flavor, and others more structure. Lambrusco wines are often blends of these grapes.

Lambrusco wines are the quintessential pairing for Emilian cuisine which includes top Italian ingredients from the region like Prosciutto di Parma, Modena Balsamic Vinegar, and Parmesan Reggiano but the wines are also versatile enough to pair with other types of food including Barbecue, Tex-Mex and Asian cuisines. For this lunch, Lini chose a more classic menu of charcuterie and cheese to start, followed by Margherita pizza and concluding with both Carbonara and Bolognese pasta.

Wine Blogger Jeff Kralik aka The Drunken Cyclist listens to Lini talk about her family's history. 


The Wines: 

Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco Bianco -  This unusual for the region white Lambrusco wine is made from 100% Salamino grapes which are lighter in color than other Lambrusca grapes. Lightly sparkling with fresh minerality and notes of apple and cherry. 

Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco Rosé - This pale pink wine is made from a 50/50 blend of Sorbara and Salamino grapes. Sorbara grapes are highly regarded for their higher acidity and more concentrated fruit and floral aromas. Lightly sparkling with fresh minerality and floral notes and fruity flavors of raspberry and nectarine.

Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco Rosso - This more classic red style is composed from a blend of 85% Salamino and 15% Ancellotta. As mentioned above, the Salamino is lighter in color but the Ancellotta balances the blend with rich color, structure, and bright red and blue fruit notes, several people commented on the intense blueberry note in this wine. Lightly sparkling and fresh with notes of mixed berries and cherry with a slightly savory mineral finish.

All the wines were very drinkable and are highly recommended for casual get togethers, pizza night, or day drinking with friends. 

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