Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Cleto Chiarli Premium Lambrusco

I had a revelation this week: could this be the perfect Thanksgiving wine? I think the answer to that question is yes. This dry sparkling Lambrusco from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region is not only delicious on so many levels, but also unbelievably affordable. A wine friend of mine recommended this bottle and I was delighted with it, to the point where I now realize I need to stock up and always have a bottle chilled and ready. This is a perfect, all-occasion wine that is almost like cranberry to the turkey.

You may be thinking, “Lambrusco? That fizzy, sweet, red-pop wine my grandma used to buy?”

First, don’t let the word “Lambrusco” scare you. This is not like the fizzy pink Lambruscos of old, the Cleto Chiarli Premium Lambrusco is made in a modern, dry style. 100% Lambrusco di Sorbara, it is a light pink in the glass, but tastes more like a French Rosé, dry and refreshing, with delicate floral aromas, delicious strawberry flavors and a bracing minerality that is balanced by a remarkable velvety mouth-feel.

Sparkling wine is never my first choice, but this one I just loved! This wine will go with everything, from spicy Thai food to tortellini with meat sauce, it will go great with turkey and stuffing, or just drink it by itself. Wine Folly calls this “a classy Lambrusco worth drinking” and I agree. You can also trust the producer, Cleto Chiarli, with roots in Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region dating back to 1860. They definitely know what they’re doing, although opening the bottle was a bit of a challenge.

Instead of a traditional twist-open cage, this bottle comes with a metal clamp over the cork! I used pliers to pry the clamp off the cork, but after looking at it again, I realized you can twist the clamp using a knife or your corkscrew.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value the Cleto Chiarli Premium Lambrusco di Sorbara gets 4 corks! It’s delicious, and extremely affordable. Find it in stores locally for as little as $13.99!

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party! I host a wine dinner every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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