Lambrusco is like the love child of wine and Champagne, an intoxicating union of tannin and fizz. Still under the radar, this Italian bubbly deserves just as much attention as other sparkling wines. Slightly less effervescent than Champagne and with a wider range of incarnations -- it's available in red, white, and rosato varieties -- it works for casual cocktail parties as well as special occasions.
Try any of our favorite Lambruscos below, with salty flavors: cured meats, hard cheeses, or these delicious deep-fried olives.
1. Ceci Otello Nero di Lambrusco (nonvintage, $20) This purple-hued fizz is creamy and has a mild berry scent and subtle tannins.
2. Lambrusco Rigoletto, Roberto Negri (2008, $12) An off-dry, extra-bubbly red that has a hint of berry.
3. Ceci Lambrusco, Tre di Terre Verdiane (2008, $20) Floral notes make this sparkling white pleasantly crisp and refreshing.
4. Centenario, Grasparossa di Castelvetro Cleto Chiarli (nonvintage, $20) A deep-red wine with a rich, intense flavor.
Ambi glasses, $5 each, cb2.com