Barbera, the most widely-planted grape variety in Piedmont (and the third most popular in Italy), offers low tannins, very high acidity, and sharp, often sour cherry and fruit flavors, complemented by earthy overtones. This high acidity makes barbera-based wines fare better when paired with food, ideally rich and hearty foods. Although there are many great values, barbera wines are often variable in style and less consistent than wines from Piedmont’s other two red varieties, dolcetto and nebbiolo.
There are some stylistic differences among the three main barbera DOCs: Alba (fuller, richer versions of barbera), Asti (lighter versions of barbera; this is the largest DOC and offers the most affordable pricing, but lower quality consistency), and Monferrato (our favorite, often a bit sparkling)
Barbera is also grown to good results in Lombardia’s Oltrepò Pavese DOC.
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