Alicia Lini (and Lambrusco) sparkles at I Trulli

October 20th, 2009  |  Published in Dinners, Lini 910, Producer News, Tasting Events  |  6 Comments

LINI 910 producer presents an evening devoted to the classic flavors of Emilia-Romagna

alicia_nicolaLambrusco lovers converged on I Trulli on Monday night to spend an evening in the presence of Lambrusco producer Alicia Lini (right, with I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla). The international face of the popular brand Lini 910, Alicia was in town to further promote her wines to the local market. I Trulli could not resist hosting a dinner in her honor, for which Chef Patti Jackson created some of Emilia-Romagna’s classic dishes. Naturally, each dish was paired with one of Lini’s delicious and elegant sparkling wines.

Lambrusco has enjoyed an rapid reversal of its image in the United States in recent years, in large part thanks to Lini. Alicia spoke eloquently of Lambrusco’s importance in Emilia-Romagna and its relationship to the region’s foods, as well as the wine’s impact in the United States. As a fourth-generation producer of the 100-year old Lini winery, who better to champion this often misunderstood wine than Alicia? Even I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla recalled the moment he realised the diversity of the wine, and its important relation to the local cuisine. At a dinner in Emilia his dining companion had insisted on opening a bottle of Amarone; a great wine perhaps, but wholly inappropriate for the region’s rich flavors. As Alicia put it: “The food in Emilia is very… not fatty, but rich,” she explained. “So that’s why we need a wine like this.”

The evening began with a selection of spuntini emiliani, including erbazzone, grilled mortadella and chestnuts, plus a glass of Labrusca Bianco — the ideal aperitivo.

The fine bubbles of Lini’s Emilian version of Champagne, a white Pinot Nero made in the metodo classico, were the perfect accompaniment for Patti’s saba-glazed eel and risotto.

Appropriately for the season, these cappellacci — called such because of their resemblance to papal hats — were filled with pumpkin, and washed down with Lini’s Lambrusco Rosé In Correggio.

This dazzling array of condiments were brought to the table next with the purpose of enlivening the classic bollito misto. Our table made several failed attempts to correctly identify each dish before our server Sheena helpfully revealed all.

Bollito Misto is a classic meat dish in Emilia, and usually comprises of several boiled meats, in this case (clockwise from top-left): veal tongue, capon, cotechino, pork and beef. For this hearty dish we required Lini’s most austere Lambrusco, Scuro In Correggio.

To finish, we indulged in a unique gelato mousse made from the region’s best-known cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, which was served with roasted figs and Lini’s very own aceto balsamico. The night ended with arguably Lini’s most gorgeous wine (and this Lambrusco fan’s personal favorite), the devastatingly opulent Metodo Classico Rosso.

It was a particularly special evening for two Lambrusco lovers: Barbara and Steve were married at I Trulli exactly twelve months ago, and chose to return on the occasion of their one-year anniversary. Here’s to many more years of sparkling marriage and a lifetime filled with Lambrusco!


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