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CHEESE PAIRING:
Camembert
Fontina
Gouda
Asiago
Dry Jack
Manchego

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Though mostly used as a blending grape around the world, Barbera is singled out as a prime varietal in the Piedmonte area of northwestern Italy. It is a highly acidic grape with more tannins than Dolcetto, but less than the mighty Barolo (which is made from Nebbiolo). These are simple, fruity wines that aren't made to age, but to drink with a good meal. Some are more complex than others, showing additional depth and roundness if aged in oak, but most aren't going to knock your socks off. They are exactly what everyday wines should be – enjoyably pleasant. Most hover in the $15-$20 range and are ready to go on release. The varietal is on the rise in California and Australia, but it is still quite rare to find New World versions in a typical wine shop. (Young Italian wines tend to be a little tight right out of the bottle. For best results, quickly pour the whole bottle into a carafe about 1/2 hour before you want to drink it to help open the wine.)

WHAT TO EXPECT: A medium-bodied, acidic wine with dark red fruit flavors (cherry, plums) on the nose and the palate, along with some earthiness and smokiness from oak aging. The medium tannins allow it to be drunk young. The best come from the Asti or Alba regions. New world versions tend to be rounder and spicier.



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spacer.gif2007 Trader Joe's Reserve Barbera, Mendocino, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Imagery Winery Dry Creek Barbera, Sonoma, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2006 Shenandoah Vineyards Reserve Barbera, Amador County, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Vietti Barbera d'Asti "Tre Vigne", Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Cascina Val del Prete Barbera d'Alba Serra de Gatti,
Piedmonte, Italy
RATING: *
spacer.gif2005 Josetta Saffirio Barbera d'Alba, Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Poderi Ruggeri Corsini Barbera d'Alba, Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Scott Harvey Barbera, Amador County, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Vietti Barbera d'Asti "Tre Vigne", Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2003 Fantino Barbera d'Alba Vigna dei Dardi, Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: *



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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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