Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Hi Wine for Normal People listeners! Welcome to the podcast page. For more info, please go to winefornormalpeople.com and use the Contact Page to ask questions or reach out! 

Apr 21, 2018

A grape that MUST be in your arsenal, especially if you like Italian food, Barbera is diverse, food friendly, and darn tasty. The trick to the grape is to figure out the style you like and the place it's made. In this podcast we cover it all!

 

Overview:

  • Barbera is one of Italy's top 5 most planted grapes, one of the 15 most planted in the world!
  • 60%+ is in Piemonte, but it's found in almost every region
  • We have no real idea of the parentage, but we know it's not related to the other Piedmont grapes...a strange anomaly that needs more investigation! 

 

About the Grape

  • Large bunches, oval, very dark blue berries – darkest of all the reds of Piemonte 
  • Productive, ripens late, can get out of control quickly so pruning is a must.
  • Even at high yields it tastes ok because of its acidity
  • Drought resistant, versatile in many soil types, adaptable

 

The Wine

  • The best are bright with good acid, cherry notes, earth, spice, low tannins
  • With barrel age the wine can be plummy, round, softer and more complex -- oak can "beef up" the wine
  • Barbera is a good blender but on its own can be tasty although it needs food
  • There is A LOT of variety in winemaking and character
  • Producers: Great producers of Barolo and Barbaresco make good Barbera
    • Giacomo Conterno, Braida, Marchesi Gresy, Vietti, Paolo Scavino,  Giuseppe Mascarello, La Spinetta, Gaja
    • Famed wine: Bricco dell'Uccellone

 

 

Appellations

Italy

  • Barbera d’Asti and Barbera Monferrato Superiore DOCG, up to 15% Freisa, Grignolino, Dolcetto. Asti – Barbera is queen 
    • Nizza is the top wine – 100% Barbera, strict rules
    • Lighter in color than other appellations in Piedmont
    • Unofficial Classico region – between Nizza Monferrato, Vinchio, Castelnuovo Calcea, Agliano, Rocchetta, Belveglio – Barbera’s traditional best zone
  • Barbera d’Alba DOC
    • Smoother, richer, velvety Barbera – complex, powerful, dark in color
    • Alba is popular because good winemkaers are here – best Barolo is made here and those winemakers also make Barbera
    • limits the quality and quantities of the wines labeled with the Barbera d'Alba DOC. 
  • Barbera del Monferrato DOC
    • Barbera is blended with up to 15% Freisa, Grignolino, Dolcetto and can be slightly sparkling
    • Tart, fruity, light, sharp acidity, can be frizzante , not in the market
  • Lombardia: Oltrepo Pavese, some blended with Bonarda.  Usually good acidity, good with full food
  • Emilia-Romagna: often blended with other stuff

 

Other regions:

  • California
    • First planted in 1880s
    • Today: Bonny Doon in Central Coast, Peterson in Sonoma, many producers in Sierra foothills/Amador County, Lodi, Napa, Paso, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Central Valley
  • Other US: Washington, Arizona, Oregon
  • Australia:
    • Barossa
    • Top producers: Brown Brothers, Crittenden
  • Argentina: 
    • Mendoza makes good Barbera, used for blending
  • Greece, Israel, Uruguay

 

Thank you to our sponsors this week:

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

 

The Great Courses Plus -- who makes you smarter and more well rounded! With thousands of outstanding video lectures that you can watch or listen to any time and anywhere, The Great Courses Plus is an easy way to stimulate your brain and make you smarter! For a free trial, support the show and go to my special URL thegreatcoursesplus.com/wine 

 

The Great Courses Plus has a wonderful National Geographic Live! Series that I recommend checking out: Celebrating Human Cultures! It explores fascinating civilizations around the world like: aboriginal Australia, the women of Afghan, the people of Cuba and it's led by photographers, travel writers, and other experts from National Geographic. It's a great glimpse into how other people live around the world!

 

HelloFresh!

A meal kit delivery service that shops, plans and delivers your favorite step-by-step recipes and pre-measured ingredients so you can just cook, eat and enjoy! Delivered right to your door, with a variety of chef-curated recipes that change weekly, this is a new way to eat and cook! We love it! 

For $30 off your first week of HelloFresh, visit www.hellofresh.com and enter WINE30. You won't regret it!