Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lini Lambrusco & The Purple Pig


~ The Purple Pig ~
The Purple Pig lies on Chicago's Michigan Avenue,  just on the outer edges of the "Magnificent Mile".  It is a very small establishment serving Meditteranean Tapas Style food.  The motto that adorns the wrought iron archway as you enter the restaurant through it's outdoor seating area proudly proclaims:  "Cheese - Swine - Wine".   How can you go wrong? 
 
We started with a wonderful Sicilian dish of fried sardines over shaved fennel.  I've actually made this before and it is a classic antipasto, IF, you like the fish.  While not as strongly flavored as anchovies, the sardines are assertive. These were delicious.

~ Fried Sardines over shaved fennel salad with capers, basil oil & pine nuts ~
 
It was about 80 degrees out and since my fiance opted for iced tea, I decided a nice refreshing quartino of Lambrusco Rose would hit the spot with what I ordered.  
 
Lambrusco is both a family of red grapes and the name of  the wines crafted from them.  Produced in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia, the wines come in a myriad of styles from red to rose.  You can easily contrast this review with an earlier article I penned for a perfect illustration.  However, the hallmark of all is the slighly sparkling nature of the wines - or "frizzante" that makes them very refreshing. 
 
Over  sixty varieties of Lambrusco have been identified throughout Italy. However, the most common are Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Sorbara, L. Marani, L. Maestri, L. Monterrico and L. Grasparossa. 
 
This review focuses on the Non-Vintage Lini Lambrusco Rosato.  The Lini winery is located in Correggio, in the province of Emilia-Romagna. As of 2010, the family celebrated it's 100th year making wine and today the wines are produced by fourth generation winemaker Alicia Lini. 
 
The Lini Rosato is a bright salmon pink color in the glass.  It's served slightly chilled and the frizzante is very appealing; especially on the hot day and alongside the fried sardines.  The aroma of the wine is slightly spicy, but filled with watermelon and strawberry notes.  It is crisp, vibrant and utterly refreshing on the palate.  The flavors in the mouth mirror the aroma and the low alcohol of the wine makes it the perfect foil.  Can't you envision sipping this on your patio this summer?  88 points.  About $15 retail for a bottle.  The Quartino (1/3 bottle) was $12 from the wine list. 
 
~  Lini Lambruso Rose ~
The second plate that I enjoyed this wine with was a small panini made with Porchetta, broccoli rabe and smeared with pesto.  Delicious, if not a little messy to eat. Ultimately I ended up using a knife and fork.  The panini was served with a small frisee salad that was dressed with white balsamic and lemon juice.  The Lini Rose stood up to these flavors as well.  A winner!
 
~ Porchetta Panini with Broccoli Rabe and Basil Salsa Verde ~
 
Cin Cin!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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