free run juice

the rudolph of sparkling wines

This holiday season I’ve been thinking about the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and how really all the other reindeer are kind of assholes. This cute reindeer had a different nose and they all laughed and called him names. This would so turn into a case of cyber-bullying in today’s times.

Enter Lambrusco. It, too, is an oddball that people have often dissed in the past (and often still do). This is partly due to the 70s and 80s, when sickeningly sweet Lambrusco was the biggest Italian wine import. I remember commercials for Riunite and even can still sing the jingle. Check this out – CLASSIC:

This, apparently, is what gave Lambrusco its gross rep.

However, I’ve had it over the years in a few places like Bar Veloce, one of grapefriend’s fave wine bars. So I put it in my bubbly guide because it seemed to pair so well with Rudolph, and then my friend wanted to try it and I wound  up bringing a bottle over so we could do some holiday festivity-ing.

It’s not massively popular in the states anymore, so the choice in the store was simple: it was the only one. It was also mistakenly in the Kosher section and not chilled. The things I do in the name of research.

lambrusco grasparosso di castelvetro

At my friend’s we put it in the freezer, but could only wait about 15 minutes until we popped the cork. First sip: kind of gross. Puckering and almost a little sour and just tasted cheap. Also, wasn’t chilled enough. However, after plopping in two ice cubes I gotta say it was good! Just getting the cherriness without the sour. Plus, it’s sparkling. We kept drinking and by the end of the bottle we admitted we were actually liking it! Kinda fun and definitely festive for the holidays. (And in summer, it’s a good refreshing option if you’re a die hard red drinker.)

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