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 Barbera Wine

Barbera is a dark-skinned red grape variety found in several Italian wine regions, including its native Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania and even the island regions, Sicily and Sardinia. At the turn of the 21st Century, it was Italy's third most-commonly planted red wine grape, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Barbera grapes are used both in blended wines and varietals – the latter are becoming increasingly common as Italy continues its move towards varietal labeling.

Barbera (like so many Italian wine grape varieties) has ancient origins, although it has only been traceably documented since the 17th Century. It was first cited in an official document in 1798, by Count Giuseppe Nuvolone-Pergamo of Scandaluzzo, deputy director of the Società Agraria di Torino (Agrarian Society of Turin). The count is credited with creating the first definitive list of Piedmont's wine grape varieties. Barbera-based wines were well regarded even then, for their rustic-yet-generous character. They were a favorite among Savoyard army officers, who considered the wine a "sincere companion", which helped them maintain their courage in battle.

Barbera
Barbera Grapes

The variety has traveled widely in the past two centuries, landing in Australia, Argentina and California, most likely following Italian migration patterns. It has this in common with Nebbiolo, although Barbera has adapted much more readily to these new environments than its fussy Piedmontese cousin, and is now responsible for wines of high quality in each of these countries. As with Nebbiolo, there is considerable debate over how Barbera is best treated; traditionalists favor longer maceration and less oak, while modernists champion rounder, more approachable styles softened by barrel maturation.

Being naturally high in acidity, Barbera can be grown in warmer climates without producing overblown, flat wines. Even warmer sites in Sonoma Valley and the Sierra Foothills of California have produced balanced Barbera-based wines. This acidity complements the cherry flavors found in typical Barbera wines, and has contributed to the (largely justified) stereotype of Italian red wines as being ripe, bright and tangy rather than voluptuous and earthy.

When young, most Barbera wines have a bright-red cherry character, distinguished from Nebbiolo (which often overshadows Barbera) by softer tannins and a certain roundness. When matured in barrel and allowed to age in bottle for a few years, this turns to a denser, sour-cherry note. A warm, Merlot-like plumminess is also commonly detectable, although the variety is more closely related to Mourvedre than Merlot. When overheated, a Barbera vine will produce comparatively flat, dull wines with notes of baked prunes and raisins, while its trademark cherry flavors turn towards kirsch.

Barbera reaches its zenith in Piedmont (see Barbera d'Asti and Barbera d'Alba), where the vine performs best on well-drained, limestone-rich slopes with a warm southerly aspect.

Popular blends include: Barbera - Sangiovese, Barbera - Nebbiolo.

Synonyms include: Barbera d'Asti, Barbera Dolce, Barbera Fine, Barbera Forte, Barbera Grossa, Barbera Riccia, Barbera Vera.

Food matches include:
Europe: Vegetable casserole (teglia multicolore); seared rabbit livers
Asia: Thai duck noodle soup; barbecue pork siu mei
Americas: Crumbed beef Milanesa; turkey chili
Australasia/Oceania: Roasted herb-crusted lamb rack


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We found 1,373 matches for Barbera, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Region 
Popularity
Giacomo Bologna Braida Bricco dell' Uccellone, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $55 1708
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $47 1787
Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $20 3017
Vietti Tre Vigne, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $18 3018
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera del Monferrato $13 3040
Fontanafredda Briccotondo Piemonte Barbera, Piedmont, Italy Piedmont [Piemonte] $13 3113
Pico Maccario Lavignone, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $13 3619
Vietti 'Vigna Scarrone' Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $40 4835
Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Asti $13 4905
La Spinetta Ca di Pian, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $23 4987
Elio Altare Larigi Langhe Rosso, Piedmont, Italy Langhe $84 5233
Luciano Sandrone Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $30 5341
Marchesi di Barolo Ruvei Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $16 5580
Hastae Quorum, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $70 5935
La Spinetta Vigneto Gallina Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $45 6231
Prunotto Fiulot Barbera d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Asti $15 6949
Bruno Giacosa Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $28 7004
Coppo Pomorosso, Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Italy Barbera d'Asti $55 7995
Oddero Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $18 8103
Vietti Tre Vigne Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $21 8226
Roberto Voerzio Riserva Pozzo dell'Annunziata Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $147 8455
Conterno Fantino Vignota Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $23 8666
Beni di Batasiolo Sovrana Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $18 8699
Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy Barbera d'Alba $35 8719
Elio Perrone Tasmorcan, Barbera d'Asti, Italy Barbera d'Asti $16 9009
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