Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Denny Bini-Podere Cipolla Lambrusco, Emilia Romagna

Italy’s Lambrusco is both the name of the grape and the wine produced from it. Chances are if you were tooling around in a VW Microbus in the 1970s, you’ve tried Lambrusco!

A Blast From The Past

Lambrusco conjures up images of the 1960s or 1970s. You could sip a glass of Riunite Lambrusco in your bell-bottom jeans and everything was groovy. A funny thing happened on the way from Woodstock, though. Lambrusco is still around.

Lambrusco is grown all over Italy, but especially in the Emilia Romagna region. There are 12 to 17 indigenous Lambrusco grape varieties that are produced in semi-sweet or dry fashion.

We admit it, most of our knowledge of Lambrusco comes from trying Riunite Lambrusco decades ago. It wasn’t an adventure in fine wine, but we sure had fun.

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Pop Goes The Crown Cap

Even though the Denny Bini Lambrusco has a crown cap, I wasn’t quite expecting the resounding “pop” when I lifted off the top.

A couple of months ago I got a bottle of Lambrusco as part of a “mystery half case.” It was so unappealing that I poured it down the drain. Even as I poured the Denny Bini, I was thinking about what bottle I would open next if this disappointed.

A Frothy Delight

Not only did the bottle offer a nice percussive prelude, pouring the wine again was a delight. The wine foamed into a wild froth. Green Dragon proclaimed that it was just like pouring grape soda.

The flavor of the gurgling deep purple glass, however, was miles away from grape soda as well as the Riunite. Rippling on top of the frizzante bubbles were notes of berries and dust. It was much drier than I expected, but with a satisfying dollop of sweetness.

This is a happy wine. It was fun to open, enjoyable to watch bubble and foam, and surprising satisfying to drink. No one can be grumpy or sad when they sip some of the Denny Bini. It’s made for friends and laughter.

A nice bottle for around $16, this would be superb for a casual get-together with friends paired with some light Italian fare. Denny Binni Lambrusco is groovy, baby!

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