Friday, August 2, 2013

Lambrusco For A Summer Day

Every summer, I find myself drawn to a favorite restaurant that serves a calamari and scungilli salad to which I am hopelessly addicted.  The freshness of the squid and octopus is perfect starting in the spring and continuing right through the fall, and in Los Angeles that takes care of most of the year.  You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to Fabrocini’s.

I usually like to go with a rosé for that salad, maybe a Sauvignon Blanc.  This time, I saw “Lambrusco” scrawled on the whiteboard (the printed wine list literally never changes) so I opted for what may be the best Italian wine for summer.

La Battagliola uses 100% Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes from the province of Modena in the city of Castelfranco dell'Emilia, the Lambrusco grape's hometown, so to speak.  The wine is fermented and aged four months in stainless steel, so its freshness rivals that of the salad.

Not only is it good, it’s good for you.  The winery’s website offers this tidbit:

“In Lambrusco, cumarins are present "in a pharmacologically significant quantity", explains Dr. Carlo Fernandez, Director of the College of Cardiological Practice of the University of Florence.  Cumarins have anticoagulant properties and are used as an obligatory drug for myocardial infarct and in post-infarct treatment.”  

The last thing I need is trouble with my infarct, so bring on the Lambrusco!

The glass holds a wine of dark color and aromas to match.  Blackberry and raspberry smells are draped in an earthy quality.  Slightly frizzante, the wine isn’t lively enough to form bubbles on top, but there are some clinging to the sides of the glass.  Grapey dark berry and earthy notes are quite tasty, while the dry, bright acidity really feels good.

It’s probably not better than a good, dry rosé for this salad, or even a Sauvignon Blanc.  It did fit well, though, and certainly made the most of the summer feel of the day.

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