Barbera, when you ask most people their initial reaction to the name might yield blank stares, or worse. While Barbera is capable of producing some impressive wines it is also all too capable of producing pretty bad wines, both with capable winemaking and without. The problem lies with Barbera’s incredibly high natural acidity, and the issues that surround taming that acidity.
Just to put things in perspective, until recently the DOC regulations for Barbera required the wines to have a minimum of 6 grams per liter of acidity, though since 2011 that minimum has been lowered to 4.5 grams, the same as for Barolo. One key difference between the two is that Barolo also is required to have a minimum alcohol of 13%, which it may actually achieve at something close to the 4.5 grams of minimum acidity. Barbera on the other hand is required to have a minimum alcoholic content of 12% and at 12% Barbera is going to have closer to twice that minimum 4.5 grams. And thus was born the battery acid Barbera of years past which met the minimum alcoholic requirement  while delivering enough acidity to predigest any food it may have had the misfortune to come in contact with.