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For 2021, the Moirae Choquette was inspired early in the morning.
The local entrepreneur was in the process of switching her business plans after a scholarship that allowed her to cook with celebrity chef David Chang for a week in Italy fell through due to the pandemic. and wooden spoons, Choquette realized they needed to focus on wine instead. Lambrusco in particular is her now-trendy sparkling red, which she first encountered and enjoyed during her frequent trips to Italy in 2015.
“I thought, ‘I have to start with wine,'” recalls Choquette. “So we dug into the data and found that there is a gap in the market here and Lambrusco is where Prosecco was about 10 years ago.”
Thus, Tomato Wheels Lambrusco was born, but it took more than just a fleeting insight to bring the idea to life. Aside from market research, Choquette also started listening to wine-related podcasts, and the Calgary sommelier met Brad Royale. Choquette contacted Royale, who joined the project and helped find a fourth generation vineyard in Emilia Romagna, Italy.
“What I wanted was a real family-run vineyard,” she says. “I wanted to grow on an estate that manages all operations from sowing to harvest to production. I had to convince them that it was.”
After much conversation, the vineyard owner was persuaded and began sending samples. Royale and Choquette then purchased all the Lambrusco labels available on the Canadian market and began blind-hitting his taste tests against vineyard products. A sample described as having “cold blueberry, lavender and violet” notes is now available at many Edmonton liquor stores including Color De Vino, Sherbrooke Liquor, DeVine Wine & Spirits and others. Northern He’s Chicken and Fairmont Hotel McDonald’s serve it by the glass for those who want a taste before sipping on a full bottle. A full list of where you can buy Lambrusco can be found on his website at Tomato Wheels.
“This is a typical Italian wine,” says Choquette. “It’s something I can drink eight days a week because it literally works in every situation. Whether it’s for brunch or as a nightcap. It’s a booze, so it’s versatile. One of my current favorites is vanilla ice cream.” It’s Lambrusco.It’s really good.”
Tasting Notes: Lambrusco Dream Sparks New Indigenous Wine Label
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