Grape(s): Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
It was probably this year that I came to the realization that wine with bubbles is for more than toasts and mimosas. I’m sure it’s a well-worn path for wine drinkers, fitting in somewhere with the decision that you can drink whites in the winter and that some reds are better just a little bit colder. In any case, new ground for me. And so I started drinking a lot more bubblies. Lambruscos, sparkling rosés, dry effervescent Loire chenin blancs. A lot of good wines. And I blame those wines on this decision.
The wine, a lambrusco grasparossa di castelvetro, wasn’t necessarily bad, but it also definitely wasn’t good. It was mostly dry, but without the tartness I have had and enjoyed in other lambruscos. It tasted more like a dryish red wine that just happened to have bubbles, like somebody had hit it with a few blasts of C02 and sent it along its way.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that the bubbles weren’t totally integrated into the wine, and the more I drank it, the more I tried to figure out what it tasted like. There were some bits of black cherry, a little bit of cinnamon up front, and a hint of spice, but it was hard to pull too much from this one.
Finally, I realized what it reminded me of – the wine tasted like a drier version of tinto de verano (summer wine) the Spanish drink that combines 2 euro grocery store wine with fanta limon. That’s not a bad thing – some of my fondest memories are tied to sipping tinto de verano on a balcony in Madrid on a hot summer day – but it’s also not a great thing in a dry lambrusco that costs a bit more than 2 euro. So some good memories briefly revived, but next time I want tinto de verano, I’ll make it myself.