Last week, in a move that astounded Italian Communist Party (PDCI) members, the party’s convention organizers banned the consumption of Lambrusco at the party’s congress in Salsomaggiore Terme, in the province of Parma — the heart of Lambrusco country. A lack of funds was reported as the reason for the absence of Lambrusco at the convention-goers’ repast. But when members purchased bottles of Lambrusco at a nearby bar, event organizers instructed the bar owner to cease and desist.
Historically, Lambrusco has been closely associated with the Italian Communist Party, which has always enjoyed strong support in Emilia-Romagna, one of Italy’s wealthiest regions where communist-party members have dominated local politics for generations. When asked about the ban, the newly appointed Secretary of the Italian Communist Party, Sardinian-born Oliviero Diliberto (above), responded bluntly telling a reporter from a local publication, “Lambrusco is disgusting.”
“When we saw Parmigiano on the tables, unaccompanied by Lambrusco,” said Donato Vena, secretary of the Reggio Emilia Communist Party federation (local chapter), “we began to worry. This is sacrilege. If they refuse to give us Lambrusco, we will buy it ourselves and we will offer some to Diliberto so that he can change his mind.”