RKS Wine: Flapping Around on the Wild Side with Roast Turkey: Lambrusco!

Lambrusco’s reputation was in the crapper for many years as overproduction and lack of quality control kicked Lambrusco in the head. But it is trying to mount a comeback over the past few years. We see so little of it here in Ontario but what I have tasted in the last 5 years has been inconsistent. At times it is foxy and grapey then it can verge on hearty excellence still with a grapey influence. If I can make a comparison if you like a well-crafted Foch or Baco Noir you might appreciate a well made Lambrusco.

Can a Lambrusco dance with this bird?

As Christmas dinners are looming many poor turkeys will be living their last moments now. To complicate supply chain issues (an excuse to hike up prices) there is in certain parts of Canada avian flu causing culls of poultry stock. Can a Lambrusco be a match for roast turkey and all the trimmings?

Let’s try this Settecani organic Lambrusco in our Lambrusco and Turkey saga. Somewhat vacillating between dark red and purple in colour the grape influence on the nose is there but it is restrained and dignified and quite pure. There is some cherry, prune, black plum and smoke as well. On the palate a moderate acidic bite as can be expected of a sparkling wine. Quite a decent concentration of blackberry and black cherry. A short finish.

There are some out there that swear any wine matches turkey based on an erroneous assumption that tastebuds are rattled by pre dinner libations. I have never subscribed to that philosophy but there is no need to cower over your wine selection with a roast turkey. Being a gravy man, I love all my turkey and Brussel sprouts, squash, mashed potatoes, and stuffing swimming in pools of gravy that a slightly oaked Chardonnay or a Portuguese Encruzado can compliment with ease. As for red wine perhaps something on the light side such as a Pinot Noir might do well with a turkey. A full-bodied red wine will ruin both the wine and the turkey. The Lambrusco here has red wine fruit to it but discrete and the acids in it will match dark meat and cranberry sauce if you are partial to that bizarre condiment. It will also co-exist peacefully with white meat and even better with the crispy wings and legs.

I will be a happy camper this year with this Lambrusco. I consider it somewhat like a high-class Baby Duck that is mocked by many Canadians who are too young to realize that is what their parents were drinking. And of course, being a good host, you’ll have a bottle of white wine open as well. But with COVID encircling us for far too long live on the edge and try this Lambrusco!

Ontario residents note there is a huge LCBO inventory of this Lambrusco so it still has frightening power to the masses. I see a big reduction in price in early 2023 so it may be time to stock up for Thanksgiving.

(Settecani Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro D.O.P., Cantina Settecani, Castelvetro, Italy, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 29944, 750 mL, 10.5%, RKS Wine Rating 91/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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