I love weekends in January. It’s playoff football time and there is almost nothing I’d rather do than cheer on my favorite team while surrounded by close friends. Order up a couple of rich, savory pizzas and I’m one happy camper. Of course, we also need a favorite libation to match with our pizza. For many it’s beer but for myself, if I’m allowed to continue with my own personal nirvana, it’s a bottle or two of Barbera d’Asti.
Barbera? Yes, Barbera is the most planted red grape variety in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. It produces wines that are marked by high acidity, relatively soft tannins and plenty of fresh berry aromas. Don’t be frightened from wines with acidity. Wines that have healthy levels of acidity cut through the fatty components found in many foods, including pizza. Our palate needs something refreshing and crisp between each fatty bite. This is precisely why Barbera works so well at the dinner table or around the big screen TV.
You can find a great selection of Barbera d’Asti at your local ABC store. The wines of Agostino Pavia (Blina, Moliss and La Marescialla) as well as the Barbera from Cascina Chicco have become favorites of our guests. Just recently we added another crowd pleasing Barbera from the Icardi family.
The Icardi Barbera D’Asti Tabaren has an intense nose of red and black fruits, very structured with sweet tannins…perhaps the perfect pizza wine. The Wine Spectator recently awarded the 2015 vintage 90 points: “A lush version, packed with blackberry, black currant and spice flavors, this red is firm and vibrant.” And if that’s not enough to get you to buy a few bottles for this weekend’s game it’s also produced with 100% organic grapes. Enjoy the games!
Paul Quaglini, Wine & Spirits Sales Manager
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq