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I'm looking for a dry Lambrusco to serve with an Emilia-Romagnan antipasti platter.   Any suggestions for good ones and where to purchase?

For the life of me, I can't think of one.

There are certainly some to be had in our marketplace, but I can't think of any labels. We don't carry one - we simply haven't had any demand for one.

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Following this suggestion, I contacted Beth Wolfe at Siena who steered me to The Italian Store on Lee Highway in Arlington where I found 3 different Chiarli Lambruscos and one other. So at least I'm ready for the antipasto course of our "Splendid Table" dinner on New Year's Eve. :) And, by the way, The Italian Store has a very interesting selection of Italian wines to peruse.

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The Italian Store (Joe Riley)

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Eleven years after the last post in this thread, is dry lambrusco any easier to find? I'd like to pair some this weekend with some cheese I received from my gift subscription to Murray's (per Murray's suggestion). I see references above to the Italian Store and Trader Joe's, neither of which is an option for me since I live in Maryland and am not looking to drive all over creation. Would any old liquor store likely have it? What about a Montgomery County liquor store? There's a Total Wine in Laurel that appears to have it from looking at the Total Wine website, but even that would be pretty far out of my way.

Thanks in advance for any tips!

(I'm just remembering that the first time I ever had lambrusco was at 2 Amy's 9 years ago. Until that day I'd never heard of red wine WITH BUBBLES.)

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Fallsgrove Montgomery County Liquor store has some.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I bought some around Thanksgiving from Rodman's (upper Wisconsin Ave. DC).  I'd call them to check.  I also looked then at Total in Laurel and that was a bust.

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On 1/11/2019 at 2:28 PM, MMM said:

Fallsgrove Montgomery County Liquor store has some.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I bought some around Thanksgiving from Rodman's (upper Wisconsin Ave. DC).  I'd call them to check.  I also looked then at Total in Laurel and that was a bust.

Thanks! My husband picked some up for me at the Fallsgrove Montgomery County liquor store, and I greatly enjoyed it. He also grabbed some Riunite since it was such a good price. 😂 (We're returning the Riunite.)

Since we were going to be in Columbia today I called a bunch of liquor stores there, and no one had dry lambrusco. And you're right -- Total Wine in Laurel didn't have it, either. So, to answer my own question a couple of posts up, dry lambrusco isn't any easier to find 11 years later.

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:27 AM, dracisk said:

Eleven years after the last post in this thread, is dry lambrusco any easier to find? I'd like to pair some this weekend with some cheese I received from my gift subscription to Murray's (per Murray's suggestion). I see references above to the Italian Store and Trader Joe's, neither of which is an option for me since I live in Maryland and am not looking to drive all over creation. Would any old liquor store likely have it? What about a Montgomery County liquor store? There's a Total Wine in Laurel that appears to have it from looking at the Total Wine website, but even that would be pretty far out of my way.

Thanks in advance for any tips!

(I'm just remembering that the first time I ever had lambrusco was at 2 Amy's 9 years ago. Until that day I'd never heard of red wine WITH BUBBLES.)

There are several Lambrusco DOCs in Emilia-Romagna - the ones you want (these words should be somewhere on the front or back labels) are "Lambrusco Salamina di Santa Croce" and "Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro." These are the most stolid, or perhaps "serious," of the various DOC Lambruscos.

Dave McIntyre included a Grasparossa in one of his columns a year ago, along with places to find it. I just spoke with Doug Rosen at Arrowine a couple of days ago - the wine is imported by Bacchus, and Arrowine is listed as one of the places to find it (this is for people near Arlington) - if Arrowine has any Lambrusco, it's probably one of these two AOCs.

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James Manis was the actor who played "Aldo Cella" (there was no Aldo Cella in real life). Back in the early 1980s, at a, believe it or not, Clemson football game, Manis came out at halftime, and spoofed his own character: He was introduced as, "the brother of Aldo Cella, Dildo Cella," before he started running around, diving onto Slip and Slides, etc. It was so silly (at the time, I had no idea Aldo Cella didn't exist, and I wasn't sure if this was Aldo, or if he actually had a brother, or what the heck was going on - I was thinking, 'Wow, this guy is pretty old to be running around and diving like this'; nope, it was James Manis, slipping and sliding in-and-out of character). 

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I think A. Litteri has three or four bottles of lambrusco in stock. @MichaelBDC and I stopped by on Saturday and asked for a dry lambrusco. Max, the wine guy, gave us two choices: a "deathly dry" lambrusco and a slightly less dry lambrusco. We went with the latter. It is still in the fridge so no tasting notes yet. 

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On 1/12/2019 at 10:50 PM, dracisk said:

Thanks! My husband picked some up for me at the Fallsgrove Montgomery County liquor store, and I greatly enjoyed it. He also grabbed some Riunite since it was such a good price. 😂 (We're returning the Riunite.)

So we missed the return window on the Riunite. I hate wasting, but I won't drink it in its unadulterated form, nor would I wish it on anyone else. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could do with it? I was thinking maybe sangria. Does anyone have a recipe or any other ideas?

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I just saw this. There are great Lambrusco made in Sorbara from the eponymous grape. Reggio nell'Emilia makes good wines too. I think the producer is way more important than the DOC as certain practices like rosé style are ruled out by the Lambrusco DOC's. And Sorbara DOC's only require 80% of the named variety and the other 20% may be anything. I think the varietal requirement on the two Castelvetro DOCS are even lower. That's fine if you are someone using lower yield,  traditional clone vines with reasonable yields {Lambrusco is necessarily a heavy producer and the traditional growing methods mean 12 to 16 tons an acre are low yield!} But if you start with flatland grown, machine harvested Castelvetro and blend it with something worse, you can easily lose the character.

Great producers:

Cantina della Volta

Everyone else is a step or two down at least.

Best of the Rest and still wonderful wines:

Saetti
Medici Ermite {Concerto}
Moretto
Fiorini
Venturini Baldini
Cleto Chiarli {Vecchio Modena Premium, the very first dry Lambrusco I ever had drunk in Modena and served by a gruff old waiter who had tears in his eyes when an 
American not only knew of dry Lambrusco but was delighted by it! I was the only one drinking that day, so he said drink what you want and I'll charge you for what you drink! I drank half the bottle and he didn't put it on the bill. My host demanded that he did and the waiter refused. It was the only argument I ever saw my host lose!}

Most great Lambrusco will be labeled Lambrusco Secco with a minimum of 10.5% alcohol and sugar limited to 15 grams/liter which will come off dry for the good ones as they are also high acid. But since Rosato is not allowed, Vignetto Saetti's rosato Il Cadetto and several rose's from Cantina della Volta will not even be Lambrusco DOC.

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