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Barbera (Red) (bar-BEHR-hu)
Regions: Barbera is one of several wine varietals indigenous to the north of Italy, primarily in the region known as Piedmont. This area, as well as other northern Italian regions (such as the Oltrepo Pavese) generally make the best examples. The wines are called Barbera, often with the name where it came from following (Barbera d'Alba for example). A small amount is planted in other areas around the world including California.
Characteristics: Barbera is a red grape wine varietal which is fruity yet with good depth and can have a meatiness to it. It has good acidity and for all these reasons pairs very well with many foods. It is one of the workhorse table wines in the north of Italy. Often known as the poor man's Barolo, it has some of the same rich and complex characteristics but is generally much less expensive. While some examples can improve with some age, they generally are not long agers and can be enjoyed young for their rich, vibrant fruit.