I love Lambic beers! Not the fruity kind with the essence of framboise or pêche or kriek, but the straight up funkified, mouth watering yet dry lambic beers from the Pajottenland region of Belgium. The insanely high, sour acidity of these beers, fermented with wild yeasts, means that they drink like the wines that I love best. They’re brilliant before a meal, and with most foods that I might eat. And they’re fantastic in the summer, as I discovered the other day, when I uncorked a bottle of Lindemans Cuvée René Gueuze Lambic.
Gueuze means a blend of young and aged lambics, which allows for a second fermentation in the bottle, just like champagne. Unfiltered and fermented for a year or three with wild yeasts, including brettanomyces (the vintner’s night sweats), lambics have been refreshing palates for at least 500 years. And though the brewer here uses both malt and hops, the [often dry] hops used in lambics are not to impart bitter flavors, but to preserve.
The 12 ounce bottle of Cuvée René Gueuze Lambic, pictured above, was purchased at Whole Foods on W. 97th St. for $6.99. And when you consider the pleasure and the process, it’s worth every red cent. Slightly funky on the nose with a super refreshing citrus acidity that becomes dry and minerally mid-palate without losing its bite, the Cuvée René is light bodied and capable of snapping awake the dullest of palates on those days of mind-numbing humidity and sweat.