And now for something completely different from America’s favorite negociant, Cameron Hughes: a Lambrusco. I can’t recall Hughes diving deep into the sparkling wine world, and definitely anything made with this oft-maligned grape. If you need a primer, just ask your grandparents or parents; they made Lambrusco one of the top-selling imports during the ’70s and ’80s.
As expected, this is incredibly sweet but loaded with fruit – ripe strawberry, raspberry, cherry — though it leans a bit herbal and earthy on the palate. A mild, pleasant minerality balances the sweetness during the finish, providing a marked distinction from overly syrupy mainstream offerings.
Taken at face value, the wine is a lively, serviceable aperitif that would pair well with a light pre-dinner platter. This will be a divisive choice between purists and those who enjoy a bit of froth and fizz with their grapes, but even diehards would concede the quality found at this price point is hard to refute.