I was looking at an old wine book the other day. It was published about ten years ago and as I was flicking through the pages I ended up on sparkling wine.
It was interesting looking at the information they gave – particularly around Prosecco. The entry for Prosecco was barely noticeable as it was relatively unheard of. It didn't even mention the grape and simply said Prosecco is a sparkling wine region in north Italy.
It got me thinking about how much the sparkling wine market has changed over the last ten years.
Lambrusco used to be one of the biggest sparkling wines in the 80s as it was light, fruity and at 5.5% ABV relatively low alcohol … and inexpensive! But due to massproduction its quality dropped and so did its popularity.
In the early 2000s sparkling Shiraz was a new innovation but despite some good quality wines it didn’t really catch on.
With the growth in affordable sparkling wines like Prosecco it’s worth looking at Lambrusco again.
We were talking to our Lambrusco supplier, Alberto, who we have worked with for over 30 years and we started talking about what could be an alternative to Prosecco. Alberto started talking about Lambrusco and brought out this different style we had never tried before.
A fully sparkling red Lambrusco made in the same way as Prosecco and at 11% much more similar in style – the main difference being its red colour. We were blown away with how good it was and it's one of the benefits of working closely with a supplier that you get to discover new wines like this.
Don’t be put off by memories of Lambrusco in the past. This one has a dry refreshing style that really does make a great alternative to Prosecco. Treat it in the same way – chilled and served in a flute. It matches food really well – from tomato based pasta sauces to jam on bread!
Solato Lambrusco is available in selected stores and online now for £6.98.