My Name is Barbera https://www.mynameisbarbera.com A storytelling Journey through Monferrato Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:06:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 BILL ROSSER AND BARBERA D’ASTI https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/bill-rosser-barbera-dasti/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/bill-rosser-barbera-dasti/#respond Fri, 14 Jun 2019 19:00:54 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=5000 I like to think of Barbera as the first wine you drink from the vintage. So I want it to be alive and fun (Bill Rosser) Bill Rosser got his start in the Italian business in New York City where he worked at Vino, one of the city’s premier Italian wine shops, and I Trulli, where legendary restaurateur Nicola Marzovilla launched one of the first all-Italian, high-end wine lists in the U.S. Today Bill is the Italian buyer at the Jug Shop in San Francisco, one of California’s leading resources for Italian wine. What was your first experience with Barbera…

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I like to think of Barbera as the first wine you drink from the vintage. So I want it to be alive and fun (Bill Rosser)

Bill Rosser got his start in the Italian business in New York City where he worked at Vino, one of the city’s premier Italian wine shops, and I Trulli, where legendary restaurateur Nicola Marzovilla launched one of the first all-Italian, high-end wine lists in the U.S. Today Bill is the Italian buyer at the Jug Shop in San Francisco, one of California’s leading resources for Italian wine.

What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti?
I was introduced to Barbera d’Asti by Charles Scicolone in 2005, while working at Vino wine shop in Manhattan. I was instantly hooked by it’s pure and humble nature.

What do you like about Barbera d’Asti as opposed to other top Italian grape varieties?
You can find world class Barbera d’Asti for under $30 bucks that will age very elegantly.

Barbera is often called “the ultimate food wine,” thanks to its freshness, bright fruit flavors, and versatility. What’s your favorite traditional pairing and your favorite creative pairing?
We’ve been eating a lot of Bolognese lately. My daughter loves Bolognese. She is more interested in the noodles than the wine though. For a more adventurous pairing, I would go with the stir-fried pork belly from Ler Ros in San Francisco.

Are your clients familiar with Barbera d’Asti?
Yes, I believe many are familiar with Barbera d’Asti. I certain customers that have favorite producers that they request by name and expect to see on the shelf frequently.

Do your clients associate Barbera d’Asti with Piedmont?
I would say it depends on the client. Some of my clients are lucky enough to have traveled to Italy and some have not. The ones who have experienced Piedmont definitely associate Barbera d’Asti with Piedmont.

What’s your advice to Barbera d’Asti producers on how to reach American sommeliers and consumers?
I would like to see Barbera d’Asti made in as fresh a style possible. I like to think of Barbera as the first wine you drink from the vintage. So I want it to be alive and fun.

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THE STAINLESS REVOLUTION (PART II) https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/luigi-veronelli-stainless-revolution/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/luigi-veronelli-stainless-revolution/#respond Fri, 07 Jun 2019 19:00:48 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4982 Luigi Veronelli ‘s team was a pivotal element in Italy’s new embrace of barrique fermentation and barrique aging. In other words, the winemakers who accompanied him on that trip became a model for other winemakers   In my last post, we began discussing the Stainless Steel Revolution that began to reshape Barbera and its fortunes in the 1980s. We looked at Luigi Veronelli’s now famous trip to California with three prominent Italian winemakers, including one from Barbera d’Asti. As we noted, team Luigi Veronelli was a pivotal element in Italy’s new embrace of barrique fermentation and barrique aging. In other words,…

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Luigi Veronelli ‘s team was a pivotal element in Italy’s new embrace of barrique fermentation and barrique aging. In other words, the winemakers who accompanied him on that trip became a model for other winemakers

 

In my last post, we began discussing the Stainless Steel Revolution that began to reshape Barbera and its fortunes in the 1980s. We looked at Luigi Veronelli’s now famous trip to California with three prominent Italian winemakers, including one from Barbera d’Asti.

As we noted, team Luigi Veronelli was a pivotal element in Italy’s new embrace of barrique fermentation and barrique aging. In other words, the winemakers who accompanied him on that trip became a model for other winemakers when they began making their wines using small new French oak casks as opposed to concrete tanks or large, repeatedly used, Slavonian and Italian oak casks (some winemakers used other kinds of wood in Italy at that time as well, like cherry wood, for example).

But as much as Luigi Veronelli and three winemaker friends were impressed by the Californians’ use of barrique for making and aging wines, they were equally inspired by the Americans’ use of temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. It’s almost impossible to imagine now, but until the 1980s, cement and wood were still the preferred vessels for winemakers in Italy. And what’s more is that practically no one was using stainless steel back then.

Even at 51 years old, I’m still too young to remember those days (also because I didn’t work in wine in those days; I was studying Italian poetry!). But when you talk to the older grape growers and winemakers, they all remember well: Before the second half of the 1980s, you’d be hard pressed (excuse the pun) to find stainless steel in the cellars of even some of the most iconic wineries of the era.

Today, people talk about how barrique radically reshaped the Barbera landscape. But with barrique also came stainless steel. And most importantly, with Luigi Veronelli’s team also came temperature-controlled fermentation.

And that will be subject of our next post… Stay tuned!

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THEO GREENLY AND BARBERA D’ASTI https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/theo-greenly-and-barbera-dasti/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/theo-greenly-and-barbera-dasti/#respond Fri, 31 May 2019 15:20:03 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4962 Barbera d’Asti is often called “the ultimate food wine,” thanks to its freshness, bright fruit flavors, and versatility (Theo Greenly)   Sommelier and veteran food and wine professional Theo Greenly has worked at a number of top Los Angeles restaurants, including Sotto where he served as wine director. A lover of all things Italian — from Italian food and wine to Italian cinema and literature — he has traveled and tasted extensively throughout Italy. What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti? I used to have the misconception that wines from Piedmont were huge and tannic. But I picked up…

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Barbera d’Asti is often called “the ultimate food wine,” thanks to its freshness, bright fruit flavors, and versatility (Theo Greenly)

 

Sommelier and veteran food and wine professional Theo Greenly has worked at a number of top Los Angeles restaurants, including Sotto where he served as wine director. A lover of all things Italian — from Italian food and wine to Italian cinema and literature — he has traveled and tasted extensively throughout Italy.

What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti?
I used to have the misconception that wines from Piedmont were huge and tannic. But I picked up a nice, sour-cherry, graphite tasting Barbera d’Asti from a local wine shop in Los Angeles that was full of finesse—it quickly set me straight.

 

What do you like about Barbera d’Asti as opposed to other top Italian grape varieties?
I am constantly thrilled by the versatility of Barbera d’Asti; its ability get my taste buds dancing at the opening of a meal, and its ability to pair well all the way through the end. Barbera is often called “the ultimate food wine,” thanks to its freshness, bright fruit flavors, and versatility.

 

What do like to pair with Barbera d’Asti? What’s your favorite traditional pairing and your favorite creative pairing?
Sotto never served agnolotti d’asino, but we did have a wonderful casarecce pasta dish that played with ragu d’agnello. The acidity cuts through the fattiness of the lamb in a delicate and beautiful way. On the creative side, I often get guests who order seafood but are just not into white wine. If a Barbera d’Asti is young enough, light enough, and bright enough, I think that it can pair nicely with grilled sepia or other seafood dishes, especially if there’s a little chill on it.

 

Are your guests familiar with Barbera d’Asti? What do they like about Barbera d’Asti and/or what are the impressions after tasting it for the first time?
I do find that guests are increasingly aware of Barbera in general, but they will order it by the varietal, not the appellation. The experience for first-time drinkers is almost always the same: the eyes widen with surprise, they smack their lips, and smile; they’re going to order the bottle.

Barbera’s spiritual homeland is Monferrato in Piedmont’s Asti province. Do your guests make a connection between Piedmont and Barbera?
I get a lot of guests who have travelled in Italy, and many of them do associate Barbera with Piedmont. If not, they at least associate it with Italy. Progress!

What’s your advice to Barbera d’Asti producers on how to reach American sommeliers and consumers?
Don’t go trying to chase the “American” palate by creating ever more extracted, oaky, full-bodied wines. Remain true to the varietal, the history, the place.

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BARBERA D’ASTI AND THE STAINLESS-STEEL REVOLUTION https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-dasti-stainless-steel-revolution/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-dasti-stainless-steel-revolution/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 19:00:06 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4926 In 1982, the great Italian food and wine writer and editor Luigi Veronelli took three of Italy’s greatest winemakers at the time to California.   One of them was from the Collio appellation in Friuli. One of them was from the Franciacorta appellation in Lombardy. And one of them was from Barbera d’Asti. According to an essay that Veronelli published in his landmark 1983 edition of the Catalogo dei Vini d’Italia (Guide to the Wines of Italy), the four of them landed in Los Angeles and went to eat the first night at Wolfgang Puck’s famous Spago restaurant on the…

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In 1982, the great Italian food and wine writer and editor Luigi Veronelli took three of Italy’s greatest winemakers at the time to California.

 

One of them was from the Collio appellation in Friuli. One of them was from the Franciacorta appellation in Lombardy. And one of them was from Barbera d’Asti.
According to an essay that Veronelli published in his landmark 1983 edition of the Catalogo dei Vini d’Italia (Guide to the Wines of Italy), the four of them landed in Los Angeles and went to eat the first night at Wolfgang Puck’s famous Spago restaurant on the Sunset Strip.
The next night, they ate at Valentino in Santa Monica near the beach. At the time, Valentino had what was arguably the best Italian wine list in the U.S. And owner and wine director Piero Selvaggio received them gladly.

They were planning to head north to California wine country. And they asked for Piero’s help in setting up appointments with winemakers. They also wanted to visit the University of California Davis (UC Davis) campus: The university’s school of enology was already quite famous and they were eager to learn more about California’s then booming wine community and culture.
As Veronelli recounts in his essay, they were impressed with the Americans’ technology and their love of barrique-aged wines. At that time in Italy, most red wines were vinified in cement or large cask and they were all aged in large cask. The Americans were making their reds in stainless-steel tanks and aging them in barriques — small casks made using toasted French oak. The top wines were always aged in new casks and the used casks were often discarded and/or used for secondary winemaking tasks.

The winemaker from Barbera d’Asti returned to his appellation and famously began aging his Barbera in barriques. He was among the first do so in Italy and arguably the first to do it in Barbera d’Asti. His wines became immensely successful.
A lot of people have told and heard this story. But what a lot of people don’t know or realize is that the group of winemakers, including the one from Barbera d’Asti, were also among the first in Italy to start using stainless-steel tanks for vinfication and aging.

In our next post, I’ll look at why the stainless steel revolution was just as important — if not more important — than the barrique revolution in Italy. You might be surprised by what I have to say.

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RICCARDO GUERRIERI AND BARBERA D’ASTI https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/riccardo-guerrieri-barbera-dasti/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/riccardo-guerrieri-barbera-dasti/#respond Fri, 17 May 2019 19:00:10 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4872 Many consider Riccardo Guerrieri’s nearly all-Italian wine list at Divino to be among the best in Houston.   Certified sommelier and Italian wine buyer Riccardo Guerrieri has worked in the wine industry for more than five years. He currently runs the Italian wine programs at Vinology, one of Houston’s leading wine bars and shops, and Divino Ristorante, one of the city’s legacy Italian restaurants and one of its most beloved. Many consider his nearly all-Italian wine list at Divino to be among the best in the city.   What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti? My first experience was…

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Many consider Riccardo Guerrieri’s nearly all-Italian wine list at Divino to be among the best in Houston.

 

Certified sommelier and Italian wine buyer Riccardo Guerrieri has worked in the wine industry for more than five years. He currently runs the Italian wine programs at Vinology, one of Houston’s leading wine bars and shops, and Divino Ristorante, one of the city’s legacy Italian restaurants and one of its most beloved. Many consider his nearly all-Italian wine list at Divino to be among the best in the city.

 

What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti?

My first experience was recent. It was when I moved to the U.S. five years ago. I didn’t know a lot about Italian wines. Patrick [his boss, owner of Divino Ristorante and Vinology in Houston] received an allocation [from a top producer] of Barbera d’Asti and those were some of the first Barbera d’Asti wines I ever tasted.

I also tasted a lot Barbera d’Asti for my sommelier certification. It’s a wine that’s used as an example of acidity in Italian wine.

 

What do you like about Barbera d’Asti as opposed to other top Italian grape varieties?

Compared to Nebbiolo, I like it because it’s rounder and softer. It’s easy to sell as an everyday wine. And it’s spectacularly good with food.

 

Barbera is often called “the ultimate food wine,” thanks to its freshness, bright fruit flavors, and versatility. What do like to pair with Barbera d’Asti? What’s your favorite traditional pairing and your favorite creative pairing?

Traditional? That’s easy. It’s perfect for pizza. Because the acidity in the wine goes so well with the tomato sauce. But I also like to pair it with game, especially venison [which is very popular in Texas]. Barbera d’Asti is a good friend for food.

 

Are your guests familiar with Barbera d’Asti?

Yes, they are. The majority of guests are familiar with Barbera but to be honest they don’t recognize the difference between Alba and Asti.

 

What’s your advice to Barbera d’Asti producers on how to reach American sommeliers and consumers?

Honestly, I don’t think it will be a problem if [producers] raise their prices. But you have to explain why. You have to invest in quality. If your wine is a single-vineyard [designate] and has structure and body and is elegant, you can stand out from other kinds of wine and you can also compete. Specify the vineyard. It doesn’t matter what kind of wood you are using. But you need to highlight the connection between the wine and the terroir. You have to describe the soil and the region. You need to emphasize the connection between Asti and the wine.

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WHAT DOES “SUPERIORE” REALLY MEAN? https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/what-does-superiore-really-mean/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/what-does-superiore-really-mean/#respond Fri, 03 May 2019 19:00:36 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4777 One of the questions I get asked a lot when I pour a Barbera d’Asti in a tasting is what does the word “superiore” mean?   Well, actually, people don’t really ask me that. But they do often comment on how superiore denotes a better or higher quality or superior (quote-unquote) wine. It’s true that Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG is a technically higher quality wine than a classic Barbera d’Asti DOCG. But the difference isn’t just about quality. Part of the problem is that the Italian word superiore is often translated slavishly by English-speakers. Yes, it’s true that superiore can…

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One of the questions I get asked a lot when I pour a Barbera d’Asti in a tasting is what does the word “superiore” mean?

 

Well, actually, people don’t really ask me that. But they do often comment on how superiore denotes a better or higher quality or superior (quote-unquote) wine.
It’s true that Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG is a technically higher quality wine than a classic Barbera d’Asti DOCG. But the difference isn’t just about quality. Part of the problem is that the Italian word superiore is often translated slavishly by English-speakers.
Yes, it’s true that superiore can mean better or higher quality in Italian. But the primary meaning of superiore in Italian is simply higher as in, for example, a piano superiore, the highest floor in a building (in English, the word doesn’t have that meaning or, at least, it doesn’t have that meaning anymore).

And that’s where the confusion comes in.

For a Barbera d’Asti D.O.C.G. to be labeled as superiore it must have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5 percent. A classic Barbera d’Asti D.O.C.G. only needs to be 12 percent. There are other requirements as well but the historical “red thread” here is the alcohol content.

barbera d'asti superioreWhat’s the big deal about 12.5 percent alcohol? I hear you ask.
And what’s the big deal when the difference is only one half of a percent?

Therein lies the rub, as it were.
In another era, before climate change and before the advent of modern winemaking technology, it was often immensely challenging to achieve even 12 percent alcohol. Achieving even 12.5 percent was an indication of a) a good vintage; b) the location of the vineyards; c) the grape grower’s and winemaker’s skills.
Today, it’s easy for winemakers to achieve 12.5+ alcohol in their wines. It’s sounds as counterintuitive today as it would have sounded implausible 40 years ago but many winemakers now try to restrain the alcohol in their wines.
In any case, that’s where the designation superiore came from: Higher alcohol and not higher quality per se.

Just sayin’…

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BARBERA RENAISSANCE? https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-renaissance/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-renaissance/#respond Fri, 26 Apr 2019 19:00:31 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4640 “No grape has known such a dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image in the last 20 years than Barbera in Piemonte, north-west Italy.”   It was thanks to my friend and top wine blogger Cara Rutherford that I came across this quote from Master of Wine Jancis Robinson’s website (thank you, Cara!): “No grape has known such a dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image in the last 20 years than Barbera in Piemonte, north-west Italy.” (Check out the JancisRobinson.com free page on Barbera here; and don’t miss Cara’s excellent post on her trip to Barbera country late last…

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“No grape has known such a dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image in the last 20 years than Barbera in Piemonte, north-west Italy.”

 

It was thanks to my friend and top wine blogger Cara Rutherford that I came across this quote from Master of Wine Jancis Robinson’s website (thank you, Cara!): “No grape has known such a dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image in the last 20 years than Barbera in Piemonte, north-west Italy.”

Terrori landscape monferrato langhe(Check out the JancisRobinson.com free page on Barbera here; and don’t miss Cara’s excellent post on her trip to Barbera country late last year.) I concur wholehearted that Barbera has experienced a “dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image.”
But then why is it that so many American sommeliers still haven’t discovered the joy of Barbera d’Asti?

The author of the JancisRobinson.com post offers a few theories as to why Barbera is not more popular today. I’m not in 100 percent agreement with all of them, although there is a nugget of truth in there somewhere.

The bottomline is this: Barbera is still lacking in “weird” factor.  As veteran American wine writer Jon Bonné wrote recently in an op-ed for the Washington Post, “when it comes to wine, weird is the new normal.” He adds, “that’s for the better.”

I can’t say that I agree with him about “better.” But I do agree that “weird” has come to dominate the wine media and consequently the wine market in the U.S. in recent years.  Like every avant-garde movement before it, the wine revolution of the post-financial crisis seemed hellbent on destroying what came before it (see Bonné’s account of the relationship between the crisis and new trends in wine over the last decade). The legions of self-appointed wine critics handily dispensed with all traditional wisdom in wine enthusiasm and appreciation. And that’s fine by me. It’s part of the ever-evolving world of wine. And that’s how it should be.

harvesting in MonferratoBut Barbera has failed to produce a wine or a producer that have captured the imagination of the new generation of self-generated content creators. Ribolla found its way into the youthful American consciousness with “orange wine”. Chenin Blanc found its way into the glasses of hip sommeliers across America with radically “natural wine.” The other day, an über-hip sommelier here in Houston insisted that I try a classic method Nebbiolo.

Perhaps the best model for Barbera producers to look to is the rise of Beaujolais in the last decade. Gamay rapidly became one of America’s favorite hipster grapes thanks to the vision of a small handful of growers who reshaped consumers’ perceptions of the wines.

 

I’ve already surpassed my maximum word count for this post: Stay tuned for upcoming posts on how I think Barbera producers could reposition themselves for the new generation of “weird is the new normal” wine lovers.

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BARBERA, A GRAPE FOR GLITTERATI https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-dasti-grape-glitterati/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-dasti-grape-glitterati/#respond Wed, 17 Apr 2019 19:00:45 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4574 I was recently asked to present a wine tasting at an Upper Eastside art gallery in Manhattan. Imagine the setting straight out of a film shot in New York in the 1970s (get the picture?).   The couple who asked me to fly out to the City especially for the occasion (a benefit their organizing for a animal rescue center in Greece where they own a second home) is as glitterati as they come: He’s an emeritus professor of Italian and a renowned Milanese poet whose anthology was just published by Mondadori; she’s a Milanese textile heiress and a practicing…

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I was recently asked to present a wine tasting at an Upper Eastside art gallery in Manhattan. Imagine the setting straight out of a film shot in New York in the 1970s (get the picture?).

 

The couple who asked me to fly out to the City especially for the occasion (a benefit their organizing for a animal rescue center in Greece where they own a second home) is as glitterati as they come: He’s an emeritus professor of Italian and a renowned Milanese poet whose anthology was just published by Mondadori; she’s a Milanese textile heiress and a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst (yes, Lacanian). They wanted me to do something with a “literary” and “cultural” focus.

Not just the usual Italian wine tasting,” they told me.

I couldn’t think of a better grape to present than Barbera. And not just because I”m a contributor to this blog.
First, I plan to talk about Barbera and its connection to Monferrato, its spiritual homeland. As I’ve written here on the My Name Is Barbera blog, the wines of Monferrato make an appearance in one of the most celebrated novellas in Boccaccio’s Decameron (at least, one of my favorite tales from the work; but then again, I’m biased!).
Next, I plan to talk about how Barbera is the wine celebrated by Giovanni Pascoli, one of Italy’s greatest 19th-century poets, in one of his most famous poems. At the time of its publication, the subject of the work — the Italian warrior Giuseppe Galliano — was one of the biggest celebrities (however tragic) of the day. I’ve written about Pascoli, Galliano, and their love of Barbera here on the blog as well.
Some may continue to call Barbera “the wine of the people”. And being a Marxist myself, I also contend that Barbera is a wine of the proletariat, of course. That’s because all grapes and all wines are the property of the people.

But it’s also a wine that has its place among the Italian glitterati, too

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BARBERA’S IMAGE https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barberas-wine-image-united-states/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barberas-wine-image-united-states/#respond Fri, 29 Mar 2019 20:00:11 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4541 Barbera offers a wide range of expressions and interpretations — from easy-drinking to cellar-worthy   I recently came across a review of a wine by one of Barbera d’Asti’s greatest and most iconic producers. It was published in a leading daily national newspaper in the U.S. And it was authored by one of the top wine writers working today in America. It was an extremely positive review. Indeed, the author included it in one of his round-ups of best wines in the paper’s local market (it’s a nationally distributed paper but it also includes a lot of local coverage because…

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Barbera offers a wide range of expressions and interpretations — from easy-drinking to cellar-worthy

 

I recently came across a review of a wine by one of Barbera d’Asti’s greatest and most iconic producers. It was published in a leading daily national newspaper in the U.S. And it was authored by one of the top wine writers working today in America.
It was an extremely positive review. Indeed, the author included it in one of his round-ups of best wines in the paper’s local market (it’s a nationally distributed paper but it also includes a lot of local coverage because it happens to be based in one of the most important cities in the U.S.).

But the thing that gave me pause was the opening platitude on “what makes for a great Barbera.”

I don’t want to reveal the writer or the producer because here on the My Name Is Barbera blog, we have a rigorous protocol that prohibits us from talking about individual wineries or wines. So I’m going paraphrase the part of the review — the opening — that gives me cause for concern.

The best Barbera, writes the author, is “quaffable” (again, my paraphrasis) but not “intellectual” (as in, not intellectually compelling).

I have deep admiration for the writer in question and I admire her/his work immensely. But I know that she/he isn’t an “Italian wine person,” as some would say in the business. And so I cut her/him some slack for not being aware of the broader field of Barbera and the wineries that produce it.

But it’s reviews like this that, well, give Barbera a bad name.

To elide the intellectually compelling expressions of Barbera d’Asti is to miss the point entirely. In fact, Barbera offers a wide range of expressions and interpretations — from easy-drinking to cellar-worthy. To write that we should avoid those Terrori landscape monferrato langhewines that reach for something more than “quaffable” is well, imho, irresponsible.

Time and space don’t allow me to go into a Kantian dissertation on what is aesthetically pleasing and what’s not here. But in the next couple of posts I want to take a look at some of the technical aspects of tasting Barbera and how we can discover Barbera’s intellectually compelling side if look in the right places.

Thanks for reading.

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ONE OF THE BEST WINES I TASTED THIS YEAR https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-restaurant/ https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/barbera-restaurant/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 20:00:45 +0000 https://www.mynameisbarbera.com/?p=4527 I couldn’t be more thrilled that the Barbera d’Asti consortium has decided to renew my contract as a freelance writer contributing to this blog.   It’s great news in part because I need the work. But it’s also great news because my partnership with the blog and the consortium has allowed me to explore my interest in and expand my knowledge of Barbera d’Asti, wines that I’ve come to love even more after a year of working with the association. Indeed, one of the best wines I’ve tasted this year (nearly three months in) was a Barbera d’Asti. As per…

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I couldn’t be more thrilled that the Barbera d’Asti consortium has decided to renew my contract as a freelance writer contributing to this blog.

 

It’s great news in part because I need the work. But it’s also great news because my partnership with the blog and the consortium has allowed me to explore my interest in and expand my knowledge of Barbera d’Asti, wines that I’ve come to love even more after a year of working with the association.

Indeed, one of the best wines I’ve tasted this year (nearly three months in) was a Barbera d’Asti. As per the guidelines of the consortium and this blog, I’m not allowed to reveal what wine it was or who the producer was (although I will reveal that it was a wine by a leading consortium member and a legacy winemaker in the appellation).

I was actually visiting New York with another client of mine when we decided to treat ourselves to a great bottle of red wine at one of Manhattan’s newest Italian hotspots. (Great restaurant, btw.). We had had a successful trip and celebration was in order.

Increasingly, I’m seeing great Barbera d’Asti on lists like the one at the restaurant where we were eating. But what’s really interesting is the fact that sommeliers, wine directors, and restaurateurs are beginning to point their guests to wines like these.

Yes, this is due in part to the fact that higher-profile appellations in Piedmont are now commanding elitist prices. Honestly, I can’t afford to drink some of the Piedmont wines I used to. But this is creating a new opportunity for people to discover (rediscover, as in my case) Barbera d’Asti as a quintessential component in haute cuisine and fine dining experiences today in the U.S.

I wish I could tell you what the wine was and who the producer was. Unfortunately, I can’t. But what I can tell you is that we are starting to see more and more great Barbera d’Asti on top Italian wine lists in the U.S.

All you have to do is to take the leap of faith with me and you won’t be disappointed. We sure weren’t when we drank an 5-year-old Barbera d’Asti the other night.

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