In my continuing quest to educate us all on various wines, I want to introduce you to the Italian wine Barbera.
Barbera (Barrr-beah-rra) is a red Italian wine grape that comes from the region of Piedmont in northwest Italy. There are primarily three Barbera wines: Barbera d’Alba, Barbera d’Asti and Barbera del Monferrato. Barbera is the third most planted and popular wine grape in Italy after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. It is grown in a number of regions in Italy; however, it is in the Piedmont region where the grape performs the best.
The Barbera d’Alba zone centers around the town of Alba, Piedmont’s unofficial wine capital. The Barbera d’Asti zone centers around the town of Asti. Asti is also known for its sweet and sparkling wines, two of which I am sure you have heard of or experienced – Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti.
The Italian government requires that Barbera d’Alba wines be made up of at least 85% Barbera grapes with Nebbiola grapes eligible for the remaining 15%. However, it can’t exceed 15% of the blend.
Almost all Barbera wines are often referred to as “the wine Italy never talks about.” Barbera isn’t the higher end, big, full-bodied wine you might drink on the weekends. Rather, it’s best enjoyed during the week with food. It’s made to enjoy young and it’s not expensive. It pairs well with food due to its high acidity levels and low tannins. When the wines are young they generally offer fresh flavors of raspberries, blueberries and cherries. It is light-bodied and doesn’t tend to be very powerful like big, full-bodied wines.
2013 Salvano Barbera d’Alba Superiore
The wine I tried was the 2012 Salvano Barbera d’Alba Superiore. This wine is produced in the Piedmont – Alba La Mona region – in northern Italy. It is made of 100% Barbera grapes. It was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling. The color of the wine was a ruby-red with purple hues. On the nose it had aromas of fresh plums and dark cherries. On the palate it had hints of dark fruit and was dry. The finish was of a satisfying length and was medium-bodied with lots of acidity and soft tannins. The wine sells in the range of $18.00 to $28.00 per bottle.
With low tannins and higher acidity, Barbera wines pair well with fresh foods such as pizzas, game meat, sausages, duck, dark meats and rich cheeses.
Barbera d’Alba wines are reasonably priced with standard wines running from $12.00 to $18.00 per bottle. Barbera d’Alba Superiore wines will run in the $15.00 to $40.00 per bottle range.
I highly recommend you try some Barbera wines. You’ll educate your palate and you might discover they pair quite well with that tomatoey pasta dish you love so much.
Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner With Iechyd Da Brewing Company at LEX 530
Mark your calendars for the next LEX 530 Wine Dinner which will be held on October 15, 2019, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. This Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner will feature premium wines selected by vintner Carl Tiedemann as well as craft beers provided by Iechyd Da Brewing Company. The event begins at 6:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $80 each. Go here to buy tickets for this exciting event.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- November 7 – International Merlot Day
- November 14 – International Tempranillo Day
- November 20 – International Zinfandel Day
- December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day