From: Piedmont, Italy
Varietal: 100% Barbera
Taste: Many folks know the Barbera grape for its bright acidity, and this wine is no exception to the rule. Far less known is the fact that Monferrato’s most prestigious zones are dedicated to Barbera plantings. (The very opposite holds true in the Langhe, where Nebbiolo reigns supreme.) Typically planted to southern exposure, these vineyards yield wines of great depth and balance. In this bottle, you’ll find a ton of juicy, fresh red fruit (think raspberry as opposed to strawberry), alongside black fruits, spice, brambly earth, and savory herbs. Truly, it’s the quintessential “fruit, spice, everything nice” type of vino. Amazingly crushable and great with a little chill for patio enjoying.
Pairing: In general, Barbecue is a masterpiece with Barbera. The palate-cleansing acidity is a perfect match for the heat and fat as well as the complex flavors of a good barbecue sauce or dry rub. If say, BBQ isn’t your thing this time of year, with Barbera wines try dishes that incorporate mushrooms, herbs, herbaceous cheeses like blue cheese, higher tannin foods like root vegetables & braised greens. The idea here is that the bright acidity in the wine will make a rich fatty or high tannin dish complete. For today’s pairing, we’re going with a J. Kenji López-Alt recipe for Chicago Thin-Crust (Tavern-Style) Pizza With Sausage and Giardiniera to celebrate a “largely hands-off” pizza style that’ll pair beautifully with this low-key red.
Chicago Thin-Crust (Tavern-Style) Pizza With Sausage and Giardiniera
By J. Kenji López-Alt
About. Barbera was born in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, the same region famous for the Nebbiolo grape and the coveted Barolo and Barbaresco wines that grape produces. Many from this region refer to Barbera as “the people’s wine” because unlike Nebbiolo, which even when it’s not being used in Barolo and Barbaresco (named sites famous for their long-lived wines made from the grape Nebbiolo, often referred to as the ‘King and Queen’ of Italy) is still only saved for special occasions, Barbera is an every-day affordable stunner.
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