Lambrusco Sparkling Red Italian Wine In New York City

Tell Mom and Dad: Lambrusco's back

You might remember Lambrusco as the fizzy, soda-pop-like wine your parents drank during the Carter-Reagan era, typically over ice from a bottle labeled Riunite. Thankfully, a new generation of Lambrusco is upon us, and it's as welcome as our new administration.

These frizzante (semi-sparkling) wines are made from the grape of the same name and hail from Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. Most Lambrusco are vibrantly juicy but finish dry, with lots of dark berry flavors and a bit of earthiness. They pair wonderfully with salty Italian aperitivi (think Parmigiano-Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma) and are a refreshing complement to pizza. Lambrusco's just the thing to drink when you're happy–or want to get happy (it just has that effect)–though we still don't recommend it on the rocks.

These post-modern Lambruscos are best drunk slightly chilled (just keep that ice in the freezer):

NV Medici Ermete 'Solo' Lambrusco ($15) From a producer with a whole range of Lambruscos, the value-priced Solo is deep violet and bursts with dark-berry flavor (

2007 Lini Labrusca Rosso ($16) Lini sets the standard for refreshing-yet-earthy Lambrusco with a touch of sweetness on the finish (

NV Zucchi Lambrusco di Sorbara ($10 a glass/$45 a bottle) This light-bodied, food-friendly sparkler has fresh red-berry flavors. Pair it with a platter of salumi. Available at Il Buco restaurant, 47 Bond St. (between Lafayette St. and the Bowery); 212-533-1932 or

NV Grasparossa di Castelvetro Villa di Corlo Lambrusco ($40 a bottle) Full of body and character, this bottling displays a unique kirsch-like quality and a savory finish. Available at Convivio restaurant, 45 Tudor City Pl. (between 42nd and 43rd sts.); 212-599-5045 or