Italy has a plethora of indigenous grapes. Some maybe well known to you, like Sangiovese or Nebbiolo, but others, like Barbera may not be too familiar. I would like to let you know a little bit about the red Barbera grape, as many Italian wineries will be pouring wine for you from this grape during the International Festival tasting during the Vancouver International Wine Festival. I don’t want you to pass up your chance to try this grape.
The wineries that will be pouring wines made from the Barbera grape are:
- Allegrini Estates (@)
- Bolla Wine (@)
- Bottega SpA (@)
- Masi Agricola (@)
- Monte del Fra
- Cantine Giacomo Montresor
- Fontanafredda (maybe)
Although you may not have heard of the Barbera grape, it is the third most planted red grape in Italy, behind Sangiovese and Montepulciano. According to Wikipedia, “… The best known appellation is the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Barbera d’Asti in the Piedmont region: the highest-quality Nizza DOCG wines are produced within a sub-zone of the Barbera d’Asti production area. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes ofcherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted (seared over a fire) oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, and hints of vanilla notes…” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbera).
The grape vine is very vigorous, so must be kept in check to produce quality wine. One benefit of this grape is that it ripens earlier than other grapes, like Nebbiolo, so it has a better chance of fully ripening for harvest. The wines made from this grape tend to have deep colour, soft tannins and high acidity. The combination of soft tannins and high acidity make the wines from this grape, great for pairing with food. Try a bottle of Barbera with a tomato-based pasta or pizza, if you are enjoying Italian food. Other food pairings would be with braised or grilled meats, blue cheese, and mushroom-based dishes.
I’ve reviewed and recommended many Barbera wines in the past. You can read about my Barbera recommendations at this link.
See you at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, raising a glass to Barbera. Cincin.