The biddies kick off the new year with some favorites, Super Tuscans! Learn about the big three – Sassichaia, Ornellaia, aAnother favorite wine of the biddies, they take a (mini) deep dive into Lambrusco, a semi sparkling red wine from Italy. They try two different wines from the label Cleto Chiarli. Tune in to learn more about this crowd-pleasing wine.


Calla: Cleto Chiarli Centenario Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile

Kara: Cleto Chiarli e Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco DOC



Study Notes for Lambrusco:

These are our actual notes for the podcast – some of which has been copy and pasted from our source sites listed right above.

“The sparkling wine that goes great with pizza, burgers, or brunch”

“The wine that does it all”


  • Translates to wild plant
  • A slightly sparkling or frizzante red wine produced in Italy and dates back to Etruscan and Roman times
  • Also the name of the grape used to produce this wine with more than 60 identified varieties of the grape
    • Mostly produced from 6 varieties: maestri, marani, montericco, salamino (most widely planted)\, and sorbara (only leading with lambrusco)
  • Produced in northern Italy predominantly in Emilia-Romagna
    • Come from Modena, Parma, Reggio-Emilia, & Mantua (Lombardy)
  • Also made in a rose and white style as well
  • Generally have low ABV
  • More fizzy/frothy than bubbly
  • Slowly is experiencing a quality revolution and no longer defined by the cola-like Riunite popularized in the 1970s
  • Was very popular in the States during the 1980s but then it seems a bunch of dumb co-eds overly favored the sweeter versions and gave Lambrusco a bad name


  • Wild grape known to the Etruscans and ancient Romans
  • Cultivation of the grape dates back to the Iron Age and they were grown to climb up Elm, Poplar or Maple trees
  • Name probably stems from Latin poet Virgil – in his Quinta Bucolica mentions a “Labrusca Vitis” that is a wild grape (think about Vitis Lambrusca in modern day US)
  • Pliny the Elder referenced the grape in Naturalis Historia
  • July 2, 1084 – a battle between Matilda of Canossa and Emperor Henry IV of Franconia – the troops seizing the castle drank so much Lambrusco that they fell asleep and were taken by surprise and too drunk to fight adequately were defeated by the men of Matilde di Canossa
  • “Rather than one monolithic Lambrucso, think of this wine as a complex family tree of many kissing-cousin Lambruschos” – Italy Magazine
  • Cato may have mentioned them in De Agri Cultura in 160 BC which is humanity’s oldest printed farming manual
  • Several millennia older than Cabernet


  • Made in a slightly sparkling style using the charmat (martinotti) method which is the process used to produce prosecco
  • Unlike the traditional method, this style involves executing secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank
  • High end ones will use the metodo ancestrale (ancestral method) where the wine is bottle while still going through primary alcoholic fermentation where the remaining sugar continues fermenting in the bottle, creating CO2 and a few more degrees of alcohol
    • Bottle will have a champagne style cork but a metal clamp rather than a wire cage
  • Some do use the methode Champenoise or traditional method but are for premium and has longer lasting bubbles


  • Secco – Dry, Deeper in Color (most likely ancestrale)
  • Semisecco – Off Dry (charmat method)
  • Amabile – Semi Sweet (charmat method)
  • Dolce – Sweet (cola like with candied red fruit flavors)


4 DOCs

  • Di Sorbara – known for body, depth and flavor
  • Grasparossa di Castelvetro
  • Reggiano – sweet
  • Salamino – least imported to the US, aromatic

Reggiano is sweet due to 15% ancelotta grape being allowed in the blend. 3 million cases of Reggiano lambrusco were shipped to the US in the ‘70s and ‘80s


Cleto Chiarli Description

Deep rosé color, with clear fragrances of strawberry and brushwood. Its taste is fresh, pervasive, mineral, and at the same time velvety and surprisingly pleasant. Dynamic.

Grape variety: 100% Lambrusco di Sorbara

Vinification: Light maceration, drawing off and refrigeration. Slow fermentation.

Family-owned since 1860. Founder Cleto Chiarli made the wine to sell at his osteria. Today his great-grandsons run the company and produce this wine named after him.