Nov 22, 2015

Barolos and Barbarescos little stepsister

A bottle of Barbera d'Asti DOCG wine paired with ravioli filled with a pastry of truffles
Barbera d'Asti with ravioli
When talking about wine from the Piedmont in Italy, we almost immediately think of the great Barolo. Of course this is the flagship wine of this region, with worldwide reputation. The Barolo is made of the Nebbiolo grape and his sister of the same grape – the Barbaresco – also stands out of the mass. But the Piedmont has lots more to offer than this, for sure, outstanding grape.

There are also other grapes grown in the Piedmont, one is the Barbera. There is a DOCG called Barbera d’Asti which sets high standards for the viticulture of this grape and the wines produced from it. When we were in the Piedmont last year, I also took some bottles of the Barbera home with me, of course besides some other bottles of the Barolo. But whereas the Barolos need at least 15 to 20 years to mature before they are best to be drunk, the Barbera, with its much softer tannins, reaches its maturity much earlier. So lucky me, I released one of the Barbera d’Asti from my cellar to open it.

This one is a 2012 Barbera d’Asti DOCG, Superiore. Superiore means that it is higher in alcohol and was matured at least 14 month, of which 6 month had to be in wooden casks. This one had a characteristic fruity flavor of morello cherry and some herbal notes. The moderate tannins and a crisp acidity complemented its rounded, medium-heavy body.

So, what to pair with this wine? If you are unsure what to pair with a wine then first think of where it comes from and second, what are traditional dishes or specialties from there. Quite often the viticulture and the cuisine of a region evolved mutually, so that the traditional dishes pair very well with the wines of the region.

Besides its wines the Piedmont is famous for its truffles. So we decided to go for ravioli filled with a pastry of truffles and a salsa of tomatoes and grilled veg. After all, a good choice I’d say.

Alla salute!