Many of you may have not heard of this red wine grape. Barbera, like the Italian wine industry, fell into disfavour in the 70’s and early 80’s. But with an intense effort by the Italian government and wine industry, Italian wines can now hold their own with any of the great wine growing areas in the world.
High production in southern Italy and California’s San Joaquin Valley produced Barbera wine that frankly was high in alcohol and low in flavour and can best be called jug wine. However, the cooler climates of northern Italy, particularly the Piedmont district (site of this year’s Winter Olympics) produce wonderful Barbera wines. Wine from this region is very bold, tannic exhibiting ripe currant flavours with smokiness nuances. The Barbera grape produces a dark almost purple wine. Undoubtedly the Piedmont district produced some of the best Barbera’s in the world. In fact, commercial Piedmont Barbera wines retail for up to $100 per bottle. Rarely will you be able to see a Barbera wine kit so read on how you can add a fine Barbera to your wine cellar.