Magazine article Out

Sweet Mercy

Magazine article Out

Sweet Mercy

Article excerpt

A SPARKLING RED WINE FROM ITALY IS THIS SUMMER'S BREAKOUT HIT.

In the '80s, certain wines seemed to exist only as punch lines to jokes about crass taste. -, One was the sweet German white wine Liebfraumilch (aka Blue Nun) , anothe r the sparkl ing Italian red wine Lambrusco. If these were spoken of at all it was usually in tones of condescension and with a strangled pronunciation. Gee, those commoners sure ate dumb. But in the last few years, many of those wines have been rediscovered by a new generation of drinkers grown, jaded by the idea that good wine has to be complicated or French or both. Italy is hip with wine enthusiasts right now, and while bad, cloying Lambruscos exist for sure, agood Lambrusco is dry, almost compost-y, and easy on the palate. Drunk chilled, it's a great alfresco treat on a summer's day. "We weren't much of a wine culture in the. '70s- we were abeer culture, a soda pop culture," says David Phillips, a sales managei atAstoi Wines & Spirits in New York City, which carries 14 different brands. "Lambrusco broke people into wine, but as tastes matured in the '80s people started to go toward drier wines, just as they went from white Zinfandel to Chardon nay. …

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