Barbera is the second most widely grown red wine grape of Italy, where it is found mostly in Piedmont in the north, and to a lesser extent in central and southern Italy. It dates back to the Thirteenth Century. Barbera can be found include Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.It is widely grown in the Central and Napa Valleys of California, where it has evolved from jug-wine status.
The juice of the Barbera grape has a dark ruby color, with high levels of acid but moderate to low tannins. It has a fruity, floral nose and a distinctive taste of red fruits and black cherries. Barbera-based wine is usually consumed within a few years of bottling, but it does age well. Italian Barbera is very versatile, making dry, sweet, and sparkling red wines. Because of its somewhat light taste, it is often blended with other red varieties.
As you might guess, Barbera-based wines tend to go with Italian food such as Antipasto, Pasta with Tomato or Vegetable Sauce, and Pizza. For those who want a non-Italian treat, try a Barbera wine with Greek Moussaka.