Italy
April 27, 2011

Lambrusco Rosso “Lambrusca” Lini at Gemma

Gemma in the Bowery Hotel has been on my list of must try restaurants for some time now but since they don’t take reservations the wait for a table is usually well over an hour.  I was taking out two of my close friends for their belated birthday dinner and the suggestion for Gemma was made.  I was filled with excitement to finally get to experience what all the fuss was about and it didn’t disappoint in food, wine, or service.  The weather was very warm and being seated outdoors I was in the perfect mood for some bubbly.  I was all set to order a simple glass of prosecco but saw the Lambrusco Rosso Lambrusca Lini and the decision was easily made.  I don’t know what it is about sparkling red wine but quite simply it makes me giddy (and quite tipsy) but that is the desired end result most of the time.

Lambrusco Rosso “Lambrusca” Lini is produced in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy by Lini 910.  It is made from Lambrusco grapes and has a dark ruby color in the glass.  With each delicious sip your tongue is bombarded by a barrage of tingly bubbles bursting simultaneously.  This was not as sweet as the sparkling reds that I have been drinking recently.  It is dryer and has just the right amount of sweetness.  It is rich in cherry and strawberry flavors and has less than 12% alcohol.

For dinner we decided to order typical wine bar fare.  We built a cheese plate that included La Tur, Tallegio, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Pecorino Toscano along with a plate of prosciutto di parma.  The pizza was thin crust and topped with burrata cheese, grape tomatoes, and black olives.  The shining star out of it all was the truffled polenta fries.  Crispy on the outside like regular fries but on the inside is creamy polenta lightly flavored with a hint of truffle.  They were served with two dipping sauces but they were so amazing on their own that I barely felt the need to dip.  Gemma also has many meat, fish, and pasta entrees with an array of side dishes.  We ended the evening with creamy gelato.  For me a scoop of hazelnut and a scoop of chocolate chip.

I am already looking forward to my next trip to Gemma and may even go back as early as next week so that my boyfriend can try it.  The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date night among the dark wood interior and candles.  If you can’t get to Gemma check your local wine shop or online.   Lambrusca Lini is well worth the money and retails for less than $17.

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