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Lambrusco tipped for revival in 2017

Published:  21 November, 2016

Italian sparkling wine Lambrusco looks set for a revival, according to reports in the national press.

The wine, which was hugely popular in the 1970s, is being tipped as a successor to Prosecco in both the on- and the off-trade.

The latest iterations of Lambrusco, which can be either white or red, come with an abv of 12% or 13%, significantly higher than the low alcohol variants available in the past, which had abvs of around 8%.

Antonio Carluccio has introduced a Vecchia Modena, which retails at £30, at 100 of his restaurants.

"I don't like the term 'fashionable' because, for me, Lambrusco has always been good for those people in the know," he told the Daily Mail.

"But it has become unpopular over the last 30 or 40 years as there are two versions of the wine - and people have been drinking the wrong version; what I call the Coca-Cola of Lambrusco. This is a drink that's overly sweet and fizzy, and not very nice at all.

"Dry Lambrusco though is so thick and full-bodied, you can cut it with a knife. Eaten with parma ham, cured meats or spicy fish, it is absolutely fantastic and there is simply nothing better.

"It is more versatile than Prosecco, and this latest crop has lost the exaggerated sweetness of fizzy wine. The grape is naturally sweet but it is now possible to make it very ripe so that all the sugar turns to alcohol, increasing the acidity and making it lovely and dry."

Lambrusco has also been listed at a number of UK retailers, including Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

Waitrose is predicting that Lambrusco will be a big hit with consumers next year and has already listed a Pignoletto from the Cleto Chiarli winery in Emilia-Romagna.

Compared to Prosecco, the Pignoletto is described as having has a richer flavour, tasting like a vibrant glass of apple crumble and custard with a zesty edge.  

Xenia Irwin MW, wine buyer at Waitrose, said: "Pignoletto is the original Lambrusco which Italians have rightly kept to themselves until now.

"Sales of this easy to drink, truly Italian fizz are exceeding all expectations and we anticipate they will continue to thrive as Waitrose customers look for something new and exciting to offer guests in the run-up to the festive season."

Cleto Chiarli is a family owned winery which was founded near Modena in 1860.