Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, that you may have heard of, but never tasted. In the past, there were low-quality sweet versions of this wine in the market, but in recent years the quality of Lambrusco has increased and we are getting nice examples in our market. I received a bottle of Tomato Wheels Reggiano DOC Lambrusco to taste and review. Their wine is a natural, skin contact low alcohol by volume (ABV) sparkling red wine made with 85% Salamino Lambrusco and 15% Malbo Gentile grapes. I decided to try this wine with pizza as that is a natural pairing.
Who Is Tomato Wheels?
Moirae Choquette started Tomato Wheels. She is an Indigenous entrepreneur who has built her career in marketing and communications over the last 15 years. She loves food, wine, and culture, and decided to concentrate her career on people and connections and discovered the way to do that is through wine and food. She discovered a gap in the market for Lambrusco and took it upon herself to introduce high-quality, well-made, traditional Lambrusco to mainstream consumers.
“I love Lambrusco, but the selection in Canada is limited, so we decided to produce our own. We worked with Sommelier Brad Royale to go directly to the source—Emilia Romagna, Italy. We found a fourth generation, family owned and operated vineyard, that has been producing Lambrusco since 1925—if they don’t know what’s good, who does?— says Founder, Moirae Choquette.
Now, let me tell you about this sparkling wine.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Tomato Wheels Reggiano DOC Lambrusco, NV (BC $42.99++ from Marquis Wine Cellars)
Appearance: Opaque ruby in the glass that paints the sides of the glass with swirling. Lots of tiny bubbles in the glass.
Nose: Lighter aromas of raspberry, blackberry, and plum.
Palate: A bit more than off-dry, fuller-bodied, round, almost mouth-filling, with abundant tiny creamy bubbles to fill your mouth. Medium-plus intensity flavours of juicy berries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, violets, and a touch of red apples toward the finish. Medium-plus acidity and a touch of tannins.
Finish: Medium length finishing with tart berry fruit and light tannins. With swirling the tannins get a bit stronger.
Rating: A quality Lambrusco with juicy fruit flavours. A bit more than off-dry. It has abundant creamy bubbles and bright acidity for you to enjoy. Light tannins.
I tried this wine with a pepperoni pizza that I vegetables added to it. The pairing was OK only as the sweetness of the wine was stronger than the tomato sauce and the pepperoni and vegetable flavours. I also tried the wine with a smoked garlic sausage and the pairing was wonderful. The fattiness plus the garlic and smoky flavours held the sweetness of the wine in check and I then picked up more of the acidity in the wine. Then, I thought, would dark chocolate make a good pairing? The answer is yes! I had a square of good quality dark chocolate which brought out the violets in the wine.
Where Can I Buy This Wine?
Tomato Wheels lists the following locations to buy their Lambrusco in BC: