Morgan Pruitt is a veteran of the NY Wine scene. He believes in organic certification and loves to pair Barbera d’Asti with braised meats.
Morgan Pruitt is a longtime veteran of the New York Italian wine scene. He currently serves as the wine director and chief buyer for the Eataly wine shop in Manhattan’s Flat Iron district.
What was your first experience with Barbera d’Asti?
Probably drinking it at Babbo circa 2000.
What do you like about Barbera d’Asti as opposed to other top Italian grape varieties?
It’s versatility. We tried a rich powerful Barbera today that would have a place at the table but you can also find examples that are zippy and fresh, easy to drink by themselves.
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?
It’s easy to pair with braised meats or steak but some of the lighter versions that reveal some of the traditional spritz work great with hard cheeses, cured meats, pizza or even robust seafood dishes like swordfish.
Are your clients familiar with Barbera d’Asti?
Americans are familiar mostly with Barbera in general, not so much Asti, Alba or Monferrato. Nizza is all but unknown still.
Do your clients associate Barbera d’Asti with Piedmont?
I believe so.
What’s your advice to Barbera d’Asti producers on how to reach American sommeliers and consumers?
I think more organic certification and attention to abv levels is important to American consumers more and more. 15% Barbera is a bruiser. Barbera is mid-week wine. Keeping it fresh and crushable is key.