I remember the first time I tried bubbly red wine: I was super weirded out. It was a sparkling Australian Shiraz and while I can’t remember the producer (this was over 15 years ago), I recall it was quite sweet and extremely fruity. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to seek it out afterwards.
Fast forward a few years and I tried Lambrusco for the first time. Again, it was weird: bubbly red wine just seems really odd. But I liked this one a lot more, and it put Lambrusco on my radar.
Over the years since then, I’ve always taken the opportunity to try Lambrusco when I find it. It’s still not super common, though you’ll see it pop up on a few wine lists here and there. If you find one, order it – but make sure you have some food to pair with it.
Lambrusco can be a bit much on it’s own; I don’t find it a very easy sipper (like basically any/every other sparkling wine). But pair it with meat or cheese and suddenly you’ll find yourself at the end of a bottle without even trying. I particularly like it with smoked and grilled meats of any kind – steak, burgers, charcuterie, etc.
As for other types of bubbly reds, like that sparkling Aussie Shiraz I tried way back when – there are still a few examples of those around, but they aren’t very common. Stick with Lambrusco as your entry into the sparkling red wine world.
For more info on Lambrusco, and where you can find it in Edmonton, check out my recent story in Avenue Edmonton magazine.