Perceptions aside, Barbera has every right to its place among the world’s greatest fine wine grapes
- Barbera can’t age
In fact, as we discussed in a recent post, Barbera has remarkable aging potential thanks to its vibrant acidity. A lot of people believe that only highly tannic grapes can age. But the truth is that you need that acidity to make a wine age-worthy. I’ve drunk Barbera that had been aged for 20+ years and it was fantastic. Not a curiosity but great, nuanced, delicious wine.
- Barbera is only drunk during summer
In fact, Barbera is one of Italy’s most popular wines and is served throughout the year. It’s true that Barbera, thanks to its bright fruit and acidity, is great chilled and it makes for a great pairing with summer time foods. But Italians drink it year round, including the winter months when its lithe character makes it a great match for roasts and the heavier food served during the holiday season.
- Barbera is only aged in stainless steel
In fact, cask aging is one of the hallmarks of wines produced by Italy’s top Barbera growers. It was back in the 1980s that Asti winemaker began experimenting with large cask and small cask aging of Barbera. And the results were spectacular. Today, many Barbera d’Asti producer make a youthful, fresher style of Barbera and a cask-aged richer style Barbera that can age with great success.
- Barbera is only made a light, easy-drinking wine.
In fact, as we have seen above, Barbera is so versatile that it can made in both a light and highly approachable style and a richer more opulent style. Before the modernization of the Italian wine industry in the 1980s, Barbera was generally made as a lighter style wine to be enjoyed in its youth. But a handful of forward-thinking winemakers in the 80s introduced the world to cask-aged Barbera that makes for complex and highly nuanced wine.
- Barbera is a child of a lesser god
In fact, as we saw in a post from earlier this year, there was a time when Barbera was the King of Piedmont viticulture. Today, when most people think of top wines from the region, they don’t always include Barbera in that class. But Barbera is also a grape that changed the world: Perceptions aside, Barbera has every right to its place among the world’s greatest fine wine grapes.