Can you get enough of a good thing? HELLLL no!
If it’s a secret, then it’s the worst secret ever; I AM a Barbera hound. There I said it. It’s on the table. And here’s my litany why: Barbera is…
1) Affordable if not inexpensive considering the level of quality
2) Accessible, most halfway decent shops will have at least one on the shelf
3) Consistent, you seldom hear or read of a crappy Barbera vintage
4) Approachable, pop and pour – it doesn’t take a millennium to mature
5) Food friendly, it is after all on the dinner table throughout northwest Italy
With that said, there’s not much left to debate. Barbera is mostly grown in Italy’s Piedmont region but incredible domestic representations are available. And you’ll almost always see Italian Barbera as coming from one of two Piedmontese cities, Alba or Asti. Sure, there’s a bit of a rivalry there and purists will argue as to which is better, but truly… they both rock it out.
My Barbera of the moment is the Elio Perrone Barbera d’Asti Tasmorcan. Dried cherries, black licorice and some funky cheese notes are the leadoff to an almost afterthought of vanilla (that you might catch not long after the first sip). Look for a grape loving critter on the label. The badger, or tasmorcan in Italian, is perhaps the ideal mascot for any Barbera wine; the little guy just can’t get enough of it. Amen brother!