BREAKING: Mrs. Vino no likey lambrusco!

There’s a funny gag in the indie movie Scotland, Pa. where Christopher Walken, playing a (vegetarian) detective, is gently interrogating a suspect. The suspect receives a Styrofoam cup of horrendous coffee that he nervously sips during the interrogation. Finally, after what is his third sip or so, he blurts out something to the effect of, “why do I keep drinking that stuff!?!”

When the whole Vino family grabbed panini at ‘Inoteca recently, that was about the reaction of Mrs. Vino to my glass of lambrusco, purple fizzy wine. Dry tannins on the finish and a grapey quality made it not exactly her cuppa tea–or glass of wine.

Why? Although the wine was on the tannic side, I think it has to do mostly with food pairings–lambrusco craves meat. Mrs. Vino is a vegetarian.

“It would be great with mortadella,” I suggested, knowing that was going nowhere.


“No, some bologna-like meat thing from Emilia-Romagna.”

Bottom line: dry lambrusco, like dry rosé, could be a wine that depends on context for maximum enjoyment. And that might just include a meat pairing.

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3 Responses to “BREAKING: Mrs. Vino no likey lambrusco!”

  1. Not that it changes your wine pairing conundrum, but for what it’s worth, the Germans refer to all bologna and bologna-esque products as “mortadella.”

    Perhaps that suggests a Rheinhessen Kabinett for a wine pairing?

    I like the Matt Drudge-esque “Breaking” title for non-breaking news. Nice touch.

  2. Sorry to be pedantic, but around here – in Italia, that is – it’s kind of the other way around: Bologna is a type of mortadella. The full name – and, in Europe, a protected one at that – is “Mortadella di Bologna”.

    Generally, people in Bologna and in most of the country shorten it to “mortadella”. In the north “mortadella” was traditionally used for a liver sausage, and so they used the name Bologna.

    As for vegetarian food pairings, you might try erbazzone. It’s a traditional herb pie eaten around Reggio Emilia. With plenty of Lambrusco, of course. The classic recipe calls for little bits of bacon, but it’s good even without.

    It’s also great to wash down any kind of pasta with rich, cream-based sauces. Many people like it with eggs, too.

  3. Mark,

    Grazzie–or should I say viel dank?
    Ah, Matt Drudge…


    Thanks for vegetarian erbazzone suggestion! I just looked up the recipe and I see it calls for chard, which I have in abundance now thanks to my CSA (a program where we buy directly from farmers and they give us more leafy greens than we know what to do with). And I have another lambrusco too so we’ll be sure to give it another shot!



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