Saturday, June 5, 2021

A Dry Lambrusco from Riunite with One-Person Shabu-Shabu Dinner #ItalianFWT

Riunite Movendo Lambrusco Dell'Emilia: Dry, not sweet, ABV 11%, fruity with spice notes

Riunite Lambrusco has been a controversial wine in the US. It was a 'sweet' brainchild in the 70's and 80's by a few wine producers from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, catering to the export market of America and creating an amabile-styled Lambrusco wine that suited to American tastes of the time. While a lot of US consumers back then loved this wine for its sweetness, easy-drinking, affordability and popularity brought by its catchy commercials, some did not like this 'Kool-Aid' wine. Many Lambrusco producers from Emilia-Romagna denounced this marketing and export scheme and found it simply hurting the Lambrusco tradition which wines can also be dry or off dry. Putting all the controversies aside, Susannah Gold from Avvinare invited the #ItalianFWT bloggers to celebrate the National Lambrusco Day on June 21st, a bit ahead of schedule, with a glass of Lambrusco of our choice. I was so luck to find a 'surprise' bottle of dry, non-sweet Riunite Lambrusco Dell'Emilia and enjoyed it with a one-person Shabu Shabu dinner. 

Riunite Lambrusco with Shabu Shabu Dinner

This Riunite Movendo Lambrusco Dell'Emilia, which has a ABV of 11%, was a mystery to me as it was the only bottle, somewhat dusty,  sitting at the lowest shelf of a tiny wine store in southern New Jersey. The tasting notes at the back of the bottle offers big promises, "flavor in motion...each vivacious sip offers black-fruit flavor...spice notes." With my predisposition of what a typical Riunite Lambrusco was, the historic controversy around this brand, the very marketing tasting notes, and for a retail price of $9, I was sold on the spot!

Easy to do Shabu Shabu meal for one person with this small electric pot
This dry Riunite Lambrusco in fact is a decent table wine. It's a truly dry Lambrusco that has notes of cherry, plum and cinnamon. It is less fizzy than the other Lambruscos I enjoyed in the past. I would definitely pour it in summer parties. But for now, I enjoyed this Lambrusco with a one-person Shabu Shabu dinner. 

Fast-cooking food like sliced meats, seafoods, tofu puffs are great in hotpot
Shabu Shabu means hotpot meals in Japanese. The raw sliced meats, seafoods, noodles and vegetables of your choice are cooked in the boiling water right at the dining table, dipping the cooked food in a wide variety of sauces like chili oil, garlic and scallion infused soya sauce, and hoisin. The process of hotpot meal which cooks the food at the table and eats it at the same time may not make a lot of sense to some people. But hotpot culture especially in Asia such as China, Japan and Korea is a food tradition that is embraced in friends and family gatherings. All year around, people sit around the dining table at home or in hotpot-themed restaurants, spend time cooking the food in the large hotpot, and enjoy each others' company for hours. Practically speaking, when I traveled in China a few years ago, hotpot meals were the only thing that my family felt safe to eat at times.

Pre-made peanut butter based dipping sauce from Little Fat Lamb can be easily purchased in Asian grocery store
My family likes (vs loves) Shabu Shabu and can mostly eat it in the winter. I, however, love it, all seasons around, and there seems to be a lot of prepped work...taking out the family-sized large pot and the portable stove just for a one-person meal. I was so happy to find the electric one-person pot in Amazon. With the chilled Lambrusco and air-conditioning, my Shabu Shabu diet will be even easier this summer.

To celebrate the National Lambrusco Day, let's check out which Lambrusco my blogger friends are drinking: